The food service industry is hard enough already. Lousy tippers, screaming children, that one Karen who always sends everything back. Imaging throwing harassment from your coworkers onto that mentally draining situation.
American society is more or less willing to boycott Chick-fil-A due to its stance on queer people and its lobbying for anti-gay charities “in the name of the Lord.” I wonder if society would also turn a cold eye to Applebee’s knowing that it doesn’t have any protocol in place to protect its queer employees.
Here are just two examples that recently made headlines.
A Greater Tampa line cook joined Applebee’s in March 2019. Almost immediately, he was harassed with racist and homophobic comments due to being black and gay. When the line cook went to his boss, he was told to relax, ignore it and that the other employees were “just joking.” However, how would the manager explain away the frequent use of the n-word and employees wearing Confederate Flags on the line cooks shifts? When the line cook went above management and contacted Applebee’s parent company, NRP LLC, he discovered that not only did they have no record of his complaints but that they retaliated by cutting his hours in half.
That’s when the line cook contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and filed a lawsuit against Applebee’s and NRP LLC. The EEOC found that the defendants were in direct violation of the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. The former Applebee’s attempted for a quick resolution, but NRP LLC refused to settle out of court. Now, finally in 2022, NRP LLC relented and paid its former employee $100,000. They’re also pledging to offer human resources training in respects to one’s sexual orientation and race.
According to Brody & Associates, this was the second time in 2019 that Applebee’s was in trouble with the EEOC. Around the same time, a transgender worker in Hawthorne, New York was reportedly harassed, called their dead-name and referred to with the wrong pronouns due to her transgender status. When she followed the same avenues as the line cook in Florida, she was terminated from her position with the company. The EEOC struck up a case for her, and she was awarded a five-figure payout from NRP LLC.
Obviously, no one deserves this kind of treatment when they’re at work and just trying to pay their bills!
How do you feel about the chain restaurant now, knowing that even in 2022 they don’t have any regulations to protect people like us? Not only that, but they try to erase their hatred from being caught in the public eye. Do you feel comfortable eating at Applebee’s knowing that they’re forcing out LGBT employees one way or anything? Or do you think these are isolated incidents, which they could be. Or are you on the side that it is not the chain’s fault, but it’s just because of the poor actions of some of their employees?
Comment and let us know!