West Virginia Record

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ex-Golden Corral worker claims racial discrimination

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 23, 2009

CLARKSBURG -- A former Golden Corral employee is suing the restaurant and two of its managers, alleging racial discrimination forced him to quit his job.

Frederick Collins originally filed a lawsuit March 24 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Golden Corral, Christopher McFeeny and Chase. Collins did not provide a last name for Chase.

Collins says he worked at the Morgantown Golden Corral, where he claims he was treated differently than other similarly situated white co-workers.

While working at the restaurant, Collins claims he felt uneasy and uncomfortable.

"All of the Defendants, acting within the scope of their agency, recklessly and with the intention of causing the Plaintiffs severe emotional distress, engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct by allowing the Plaintiff to be discriminated against, called racial slurs, and by refusing too (sic) address the situation when the Plaintiff filed a written complaint," the suit states.

Because he felt like something bad was going to happen, Collins says he quit his job.

"The Defendants have failed to enforce policies prohibiting race discrimination; and retaliated against the Plaintiff for protesting Defendants' discriminatory policies, patterns, and/or practices," the suit states. "While the Defendants may have strongly worded anti-discrimination policies, and may of their employees honor the rights of their African-American co-workers, far too many of their managerial and supervisory employees are not effectively policed, are not disciplined for violating the rights of African-Americans such as the Plaintiff, and ignore Defendants' state policies and make employment decision disadvantageous to African-Americans like the Plaintiff."

The conduct of Golden Corral's managers has caused Collins to suffer harm, lose earnings and benefits and suffer humiliation, embarrassment, emotional and physical distress and mental anguish, according to the complaint.

Both Golden Corral and its managers ignored and inadequately investigated Collins's complaints. They also failed to implement steps that would eliminate the unlawful conditions, the complaint says.

Collins is asking the court to order Golden Corral's practices and policies violate his rights. He is also seeking injunctive and equitable relief restraining Golden Corral and its supervisors from discriminating against him and members of subclasses, an unspecified judgment including back pay and front pay, unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, an award for past, present and future emotional distress, outrage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, loss of wages, embarrassment, harassment, annoyance and inconvenience, plus attorneys' fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Golden Corral removed the case to federal court on May 11, saying the complaint involves a question of federal law.

Matthew H. Nelson of Dinsmore and Shohl in Morgantown will be representing Golden Corral.

Jennifer McGinley of McGinley Law Offices in Morgantown will be representing Collins.

U.S. District Court case number: 1:09-CV-63

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