Lawsuit claims Buffalo Wild Wings managers allowed employees to refuse service: 'Blacks don't give good tips'

A federal lawsuit filed on Monday by a former employee of an Overland, Kan. Buffalo Wild Wings alleges that managers repeatedly made racist comments about African-American customers and let employees refuse service to them.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Gerald Gray, states that the reason white employees gave for not serving black customers was that "blacks don't give good tips."

Gary Lovelace, a 55-year-old black man who worked as a cook at the restaurant for 12 years, was fired for reporting concerns about the discrimination he witnessed at the chain restaurant. Now, he is suing the company for fostering a "racially hostile work environment," according to the Kansas City Star.

A new general manager was introduced to the store in late 2016 or early 2017, the lawsuit notes, which is when Lovelace claims the issues began. 

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25 chain restaurants Americans hate

Fricker's 

Excessive Noise Levels: 22%
Poor Service: 22%
Problematic Food Prep: 12%
Dirty Environment: 22%

Photo credit: Facebook.com
 

Dave & Buster's 

Excessive Noise Levels: 32%
Poor Service: 23%
Problematic Food Prep: 13%
Dirty Environment: 14%

Photo credit: Reuters

Taco Mac

Excessive Noise Levels: 24%
Poor Service: 28%
Problematic Food Prep: 13%
Dirty Environment: 9%

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Native Grill & Wings

Excessive Noise Levels: 23%
Poor Service: 19%
Problematic Food Prep: 13%
Dirty Environment: 15%

Photo credit: Facebook.com  

Quaker Steak & Lube

Excessive Noise Levels: 25%
Poor Service: 18%
Problematic Food Prep: 11%
Dirty Environment: 12%

Photo credit: Getty

Buffalo Wild Wings 

Excessive Noise Levels: 30%
Poor Service: 17%
Problematic Food Prep: 12%
Dirty Environment: 10%

Photo credit: Getty

The Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille

Excessive Noise Levels: 25%
Poor Service: 20%
Problematic Food Prep: 12%
Dirty Environment: 10%

Photo credit: Facebook 

Huddle House

Excessive Noise Levels: 15%
Poor Service: 20%
Problematic Food Prep: 13%
Dirty Environment: 23%

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P.J. Whelihan's Pub and Restaurant 

Excessive Noise Levels: 31%
Poor Service: 13%
Problematic Food Prep: 8%
Dirty Environment: 10%

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Joe's Crab Shack 

Excessive Noise Levels: 24%
Poor Service: 18%
Problematic Food Prep: 11%
Dirty Environment: 11%

Photo credit: Getty

Hurricane Grill & Wings

Excessive Noise Levels: 21%
Poor Service: 20%
Problematic Food Prep: 11%
Dirty Environment: 10%

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

Wild Wing Cafe

Excessive Noise Levels: 24%
Poor Service: 20%
Problematic Food Prep: 10%
Dirty Environment: 11%

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

Hard Rock Cafe 

Excessive Noise Levels: 24%
Poor Service: 20%
Problematic Food Prep: 11%
Dirty Environment: 7%

Photo credit: Reuters

Rainforest Cafe

Excessive Noise Levels: NA
Poor Service: NA
Problematic Food Prep: NA
Dirty Environment: NA

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Iron Skillet 

Excessive Noise Levels: 11%
Poor Service: 19%
Problematic Food Prep: 16%
Dirty Environment: 16%

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Texas Roadhouse

Excessive Noise Levels: 38%
Poor Service: 10%
Problematic Food Prep: 7%
Dirty Environment: 10%

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Buffalo Wings & Rings

Excessive Noise Levels: 31%
Poor Service: 31%
Problematic Food Prep: 10%
Dirty Environment: 9%

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

Dick's Last Resort 

Excessive Noise Levels: 18%
Poor Service: 20%
Problematic Food Prep: 9%
Dirty Environment: 16%

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Logan's Roadhouse

Excessive Noise Levels: 24%
Poor Service: 15%
Problematic Food Prep: 12%
Dirty Environment: 14%

Photo credit: Facebook.com

House Of Blues 

Excessive Noise Levels: 19%
Poor Service: 19%
Problematic Food Prep: 14%
Dirty Environment: 10%

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Bar Louie 

Excessive Noise Levels: 25%
Poor Service: 16%
Problematic Food Prep: 10%
Dirty Environment: 8%

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Red Robin Gourmet Burger and Brews 

Excessive Noise Levels: 26%
Poor Service: 16%
Problematic Food Prep: 10%
Dirty Environment: 9%

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Waffle House 

Excessive Noise Levels: 17%
Poor Service: 12%
Problematic Food Prep: 9%
Dirty Environment: 22%

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Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill

Excessive Noise Levels: 27%
Poor Service: 11%
Problematic Food Prep: 12%
Dirty Environment: 11%

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

Duffy's Sports Grill

Excessive Noise Levels: 33%
Poor Service: 14%
Problematic Food Prep: 10%
Dirty Environment: 5%

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

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The lawsuit alleges Lovelace was targeted for both his age and disability, and that he was often subjected to racist comments that were written off as jokes, despite the complaints which he regularly reported to management. In one instance, Lovelace was introduced to a fellow employee as the "angry black man" by an assistant general manager.

"Mr. Lovelace became fearful and was often stressed due to the tension he faced on the job during his shifts over the last year of his employment," the suit says.

The lawsuit also states that Lovelace was denied raises and promotions, and given "less favorable shifts" despite his seniority.

In 2017, Lovelace says he was regularly disciplined for arriving late due to him becoming the caretaker of a sick relative. However, according to Lovelace, younger, non-black employees did not receive similar treatment.

In October 2017, Lovelace was ultimately fired for arriving late for work.

A fellow worker seems to back up Lovelace's claims on social media. "I worked at this [Buffalo Wild Wings] location for nearly four years. Accepting environment to all races it was not," the alleged former employee wrote on Facebook. "The victim here is a sweet and kind man, who always brightened up the shift and it hurts my heart that he was discriminated against by the staff who should have been supporting him."

Buffalo Wild Wings did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle's requests for comment.

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