Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Atlanta Employment Law Attorney / Blog / Employment Law / Buckhead Brewery Accused of Firing Black Chef After He Reported Rampant Racism and Sexism

Buckhead Brewery Accused of Firing Black Chef After He Reported Rampant Racism and Sexism


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a federal lawsuit against a Buckhead brewery claiming that the brewery violated federal law when it retaliated against a Black chef for reporting rampant racism and sexism, according to a recent lawsuit. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC claims the company fired a Black chef in July of 2021 after he complained to management about the chronic mistreatment of Black, Hispanic, and female staff. The chef began working at the brewery in November 2020. He says that he was sent home after asking to be treated “like a human being,” the complaint alleges. He further alleges that he was called a racial slur by a senior chef. The complaint alleges that the use of racial slurs was commonplace in Iron Hill’s kitchen.

The complaint specifies that at least one bartender at the restaurant complained that there were “too many Black servers” and that he wanted to see “pretty white faces in the bar.”

Iron Hill is a national chain with locations in Buckhead and Dunwoody, Georgia. It also has locations in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Iron Hill Brewery of Buckhead LLC and Iron Hill Brewery LLC are both named as defendants in the EEOC lawsuit.

You cannot be retaliated against for filing harassment complaints 

According to the lawsuit, the chef who was fired first reported workplace sex and race discrimination in June of 2021. The EEOC said that the chef complained that Hispanic employees were improperly removed from the work schedule and that one server, a breastfeeding mother, was forced to pump breast milk in a public restroom because managers refused to vacate the restaurant’s private office.

The EEOC alleges that the chef was told by the brewery’s acting general manager that he was going to be fired for speaking up. The agency further contends that the chef’s immediate supervisor began to disrespect him after he complained.

In July 2021, one month after the chef initially complained, the chef received a final warning although no prior warnings had been issued. The warning accused the chef of “acting aggressively” when he asked to be treated like a human being. He was also told by a senior employee to “tone it down.” The chef responded in a text message stating that he would not do anything fireable and would not be intimidated to quit. The chef was fired that same day.

Filing a complaint concerning a hostile work environment is a protected activity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An employer may not fire an employee for filing such a complaint without violating federal law. In this case, the EEOC will force the restaurant to pay the former employee a lot of money, post notices concerning sexual and racial harassment in the workplace, and turn over records regarding any formal complaints made by employees concerning race or sex discrimination.

Talk to an Atlanta, GA Race and Sex Discrimination Lawyer Today 

The Forsythe Law Firm, LLC represents the interests of employees who have faced racial or sexual harassment in the workplace. Call our Atlanta employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin investigating your claims right away.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn