Riggan Law Firm Sues Panera for Racial Harassment

Riggan Law Firm, LLC, a Missouri employment law firm, working in connection withWeinhaus & Potashnick, has filed a racial harassment lawsuit against Panera, LLC, the St. Louis-based company that owns and operates the well-known Saint Louis Bread Company restaurants. The Plaintiffs are a group of current and former Panera employees who worked at the Saint Louis Bread Company restaurant in Florissant, Missouri. The Plaintiffs allege that they were subjected to a racially hostile work environment.

The lawsuit alleges an enormous amount of racially harassing conduct by both managers and non-managers of Panera. The Plaintiffs claim that they were called names such as "monkey," "black ass," "Aunt Jemimah," "ghetto," "black bitch," "fucking black people," "lazy black motherfuckers," "dumb, stupid fucking nigger bitch," "boy," "oreo," "animals," "brotha," and "sistah." According to the lawsuit, a Panera manager repeatedly told black employees to not bother seeking management positions because Panera is "racist" and "does not promote black employees" and that "this is a white person's world; black people are just trying to come up in it."

In addition to racist conduct directed to Panera employees, the lawsuit alleges that Panera managers made racist comments directed to customers of Saint Louis Bread Company. For example, according to the lawsuit, one Panera manager said about an African-American customer, "Her ghetto ass shouldn't be here if she doesn't know how to order a 'You-Pick-Two.'" It is also alleged that a Panera manager referred to African-American customers as a "broke black asses" and "fucking black people."

According to the lawsuit, African-American employees have made numerous complaints to Panera management about racial harassment, yet Panera has done nothing to investigate the allegations or correct the racially hostile work environment.

To read a copy of the lawsuit, click here.

If you have been subjected to racially harassing conduct in the workplace, you should contact a St. Louis employment lawyer.