Manayunk Brewing Co. hit with racial discrimination complaint

By Jon Campisi | Nov 1, 2011

A black man who alleges he was fired from his job at a Philadelphia restaurant and bar for racial bias reasons has filed a federal job discrimination lawsuit against his former employer.

Bensalem, Pa. attorney Ari R. Karpf, of the firm Karpf & Karpf, filed the civil complaint Oct. 28 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Philadelphia resident Ernest Allen.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Philadelphia Beer Works, Inc., doing business as the Manayunk Brewing Company, and the business’s owner, Michael Rose.

According to the lawsuit, Allen, who worked for the popular Manayunk restaurant as a cook for more than six years, was let go this spring after allegedly becoming involved in a “verbal altercation” at the workplace.

Through his complaint, however, Allen alleges that the true motivation behind his termination was the color of his skin.

“Plaintiff was subjected to a hostile work environment based upon his race while in the employ of Defendants because racially derogatory language was permitted, and Defendant Rose often used racially offensive language toward Plaintiff and other black employees …,” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit states that Allen and other black employees were also treated with less respect than non-black employees, and were treated more severely with respect to discipline or termination.

The lawsuit claims that Allen was actually terminated from his job after lodging complaints of mistreatment and racial discrimination.

The federal complaint contains counts of discrimination and retaliatory termination, as well as hostile work environment.

The lawsuit also accuses the defendant of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act for failure to pay the plaintiff overtime compensation to which he was entitled.

Allen seeks back pay, front pay, pay increases, bonuses, insurance, benefits, reinstatement and seniority, in addition to actual damages and liquidated or punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other court relief.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-06761-JP.

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