DALLAS (CN) – Racist Kung Fu Saloon employees in Dallas, Houston and Austin discriminated against black and Asian patrons, the United States claims in Federal Court.
The federal government sued three limited liability companies Tuesday, claiming their employees tried to limit the number of blacks and Asians at their bars.
In a consent decree and settlement, the owners agree to “implement changes to policies and practices” to stop discrimination.
“In dozens of instances since at least May 2011, defendants have denied African American patrons entry into Kung Fu Saloons based on dress code when similarly dressed white patrons were permitted to enter,” the government said in the complaint.
“For example, in March 2013, an African-American patron was denied entry for wearing a particular brand of athletic shoes. However, moments earlier, his white friend was permitted entry even though he wore the same brand of athletic shoes. When the African American patron informed the defendants’ employee that his white friend was permitted entry even though he was wearing the same brand of shoes, the employee replied that it was up to Kung Fu ‘who can come in and who can’t.'”
The bars claimed they were at capacity though they allowed whites to enter, required blacks and Asians to wait longer than white people and screened event bookings to limit the number booked by blacks and Asians, the government says.
“This settlement resolves serious allegations of racial and national origin discrimination at Kung Fu Saloon locations in Texas, and it should make clear that any illegal discrimination in places of public accommodations will not be tolerated,” Acting U.S. Attorney John R. Parker said.
The bars’ operators pleaded no-contest in January to two violations of the Dallas City Code. The bar agreed to pay $400 and go on deferred adjudication for 90 days, the Dallas Observer reported.
In May, the bars’ operators denied the claims of racism.
“As many of those that have visited us in the past will attest, Kung Fu Saloon is home to a diverse crowd of patrons of all races, ethnicities, genders, and religions,” they said in an email. “This is a culture that we value, and is something we have taken great pride in since creating the concept, and it is worth restating that it is not the policy of Kung Fu Saloon to deny any customer entry based upon race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or any other status.”
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