A race discrimination lawsuit filed against Sparx, a Menomonie, Wisconsin restaurant, accuses restaurant managers of posting racist imagery and then firing an African-American employee after he complained.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), Dion Miller arrived for his regularly scheduled shift at the restaurant to find taped to the cooler a picture of African-American actor Gary Coleman and a dollar bill which had been defaced such that a noose was around the neck of George Washington, whose face had been blackened. Also on the dollar bill were swastikas and the image of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood. Sparx managers told Miller that they had posted the images the evening before but, when Miller complained, insisted that it was “a joke.” Miller was terminated within weeks of complaining about the racist imagery, for allegedly having “a bad attitude.” Attorneys for the EEOC have charged that Sparx terminated Miller in retaliation for opposing race discrimination.
The EEOC’s lawsuit seeks backpay compensation for lost wages, reinstatement, and compensatory and punitive damages.