US: Hollywood restaurant sued by lesbian ex-employee over homophobic and racist abuse
A Hollywood restaurant frequented by celebrities is the subject of a discrimination lawsuit filed by a lesbian worker, who says her fellow staff allegedly subjected her to racist and homophobic abuse.
Keyon Wilson joined Mediterranean restaurant Cleo as a line cook on 21 September last year.
However, she remained there for just two weeks before quitting over racist and homophobic discrimination and abuse allegedly from other workers.
Ms Wilson says she was subjected to verbal abuse which her straight colleagues were never a target of.
Male co-workers were allegedly told by staff “When you walk down the line, put your dick so close to [Wilson] that the bitch will become pregnant.”
It’s claimed co-workers also asked her whether “gay guys suck good dick.”
As the only black member of staff, Ms Wilson was allegedly told by co-workers to “get to the back of the bus, Rosa Parks.”
She also claims that she was referred to as a “ho” and subjected to homophobic slang terms.
Complaining about the slurs to the restaurant’s human resources department did not result in any change to the abuse she was receiving, and Ms Wilson says that Cleo in fact retaliated against her complaint by forcing her to take unpaid days off and delaying her paychecks.
Following a complaint to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Ms Wilson was given a right-to-sue letter in January.
She proceeded to file a lawsuit on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Cleo and its owner, the SBE Entertainment Group, for an unspecified amount of damages on charges of discrimination, wrongful constructive termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and harassment.