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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

West African Says Denny’s Discriminates

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - A West African man sued Denny's Corporation for $50 million, claiming he was passed over for a district manager position due to his race and national origin.

Plaintiff Amangoua J. Bile says his passed over for promotion while less qualified white employees got the jobs was not an isolated incident and that he was also denied equal pay and overtime wages to white employees.

According to his complaint filed in Richmond Federal Court, "Arlisa Jones, a general manager at the restaurant. .. informed Bile that he was to hire mostly Caucasian employees in the store or Denny's will be forced to come and do the hiring themselves."

From 2005 to 2013, Bile says, he was subject to racial discrimination from managers and employees, who called him "derogatory names, such as Nigger."

Bile, who is originally from Cote D'Ivoire, Africa, says he was also bullied for his accent.

The complaint describes a 2008 incident in which his general manager, George Branch, allegedly "told Bile to go back to Africa and learn how to speak English, and Mr. Bile should suck his 'D' (male organ). Mr. Branch even told Bile to go back to Africa and chase lions."

Bile alleges that in 2012, another general manager, Matthew Barnes, told him, "In my country, here in America, we don't understand you and suggest that you go back to where you came from."

Another employee allegedly told Bile, "that they would do everything in their power to get Bile deported because they believed that he was here illegally like President Obama."

When customers harassed him using racial slurs, says Bile, Denny's instructed him to continue serving.

"One of the White customers told him to catch a boat back to Africa," said Bile. "Ms. Deborah Marshall the District Manager rewarded the customers with free coupons."

Bile says he filed discrimination charges, but Denny's managers refused to address the treatment, and instead retaliated with more threats and harassment.

After he filed grievance with the Equal Opportunity Commission in 2013, Bile was told that Denny's embarked on a crusade against him, scouring his Facebook and Twitter accounts for information which could be used to discredit his character, the complaint alleges.

Bile also says Denny's conspired to have people posing as customers complain about Bile to Denny's Corporate Offices.

"Some of these incidents occurred in front of senior personnel of Denny's from the president down to the vice president, including director of human resources , and no action was taken to stop it," writes Bile in his complaint.

Bile alleges that though he was more than qualified for a district manager position, junior employees whom he himself had trained, were promoted before he.

According to the complaint, Bile worked upwards of 13 hours a day, with no overtime pay, and was often asked to work additional hours at neighboring stores as far as one hour away.

"When Bile complained about the non-compensation for the numerous extra hours," the complaint reads, "Denny's told him that he was on salary and he must work any extra hours that Denny's demands."

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