A group of former employees of Midtown's TGI Friday's are suing the chain after black workers were apparently replaced with lighter-skinned waitstaff. According to the Daily News, only one black employee was kept on after the restaurant moved locations in December, hiring Hispanic staff instead because they "work harder," the class action lawsuit reads.
“It was their opinion that black people were lazy,” plaintiff Lisa Baker told the tabloid. “We weren’t even given a chance.”
Friday's owners—National Restaurants Management Inc.—denied the allegations. The company is "proud of its 75-year tradition of positive employee relations with a diverse workforce," a spokesperson said. “The restaurant in question has a workforce, including managers, that is more than 80% non-white."
Lawyers for the plaintiffs are seeking $500,000 each in damages.