OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Buffalo Wild Wings on 105th Street in Overland Park is accused of racial discrimination and creating a racially hostile work environment.
The claims come from a lawsuit filed by a former employee who says, while he worked there, the general manager referred to him as an angry black man.
He also claims servers were allowed to deny service to black customers and were allowed to give them sub-par service.
According to the lawsuit, the allegations occurred from around late 2016 through 2017. He worked at Buffalo Wild Wings for 12 years as a cook and staff trainer.
The employee was fired for being late in October 2017, but claims in the lawsuit that he was singled out and treated differently than other employees.
The filing states he was late because he needed to get an oxygen tank for a sick relative that he cared for, and that he notified managers of this in accordance with the attendance policy.
"We filed the lawsuit based on the facts and experiences Mr. Lovelace faced during his 12 years of employment at Buffalo Wild Wings," said Gerald Gary, II attorney for the former employee. "We intend to litigate this matter in court and Buffalo Wild Wings will have the opportunity to defend these allegations. Our goal is not only to obtain justice for Mr. Lovelace but to ensure things like those alleged in the lawsuit don't continue in today's America. There are laws that protect against this type of behavior and if you believe you've experienced discriminatory or retaliatory treatment, seek help. Based on the public response since this story broke, we are confident in our case and if anyone believes they have information related to the allegations in the lawsuit, please contact Mr. Lovelace’s attorney.”
A spokesperson for Buffalo Wild Wings provided this statement: "While we do not comment on pending litigation specifically, we take the allegations very seriously and are conducting an internal investigation. Buffalo Wild Wings values an inclusive environment and we have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind."
Allegations of age and disability discrimination are listed in the filing. The lawsuit also names Inspire Brands, which is the parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings.
The location on 105th Street in Overland Park has a new general manager now. A spokesperson did not reveal whether the change was because of the claims in the lawsuit.