Panera Bread is getting some negative public relations after a black former employee, Guy Vines, filed a lawsuit against the company alleging the company doesn’t want black employees in positions where they interact with the public. Sam Cordes, the attorney for Guy Vines, says “African Americans were routinely assigned to jobs either in the back of the store washing dishes or doing food preparation so customers would not see them.” Panera Bread has another problem. The allegations in Guy Vines’ lawsuit is echoed by a white manager Scott Donatelli, who sued the suburban Pittsburgh store last year, claims he was fired for defending Guy Vines.
The company contends that it frowns upon discrimination and Guy Vines walked off the job last year after he was disciplined for violating company dress code, and health and safety polices, NBC Philadelphia reports.
The lawsuit alleges that the company’s top managers dictated that “people who are `Black, Fat, and/or ugly’ should never be permitted to work the cash registers.”
The lawsuit contends Vines, of Castle Shannon, would be moved to the back of the store whenever owner Sam Covelli was at the Mount Lebanon location where Vines worked from November 2009 until he quit in August 2011, or whenever local or district managers expected a visit from Covelli. Both lawsuits contend a district manager reprimanded Donatelli and told him Covelli would “(expletive) if he got a look at ‘that’” – meaning Vines working anywhere customers could see him. Source: NBC Philadelphia
I don’t quite know what to make of this hot mess, but I’ll reserve judgment until the lawsuit is resolved. Makes you wonder about the establishments you patronize and how they really treat their employees.