Up in Smoke: Dallas BBQ Sued by a Server for Alleged Ethnic Discrimination, Sexual Harassment

For once, a restaurant is getting sued by someone other than Maimon Kirschenbaum, for something other than failure to pay proper wages. Grub learns that a server has filed a complaint against the Dallas BBQ restaurant chain. According to the complaint, which we received from law firm Bronson Lipsky LLP, Ivan Ruiz, a sever at the chain’s Third Avenue location, is suing for alleged ethnic discrimination and sexual harassment by several general managers.

Reportedly, GM Afzal Rahman (who has since been moved to another location) made discriminatory remarks about “Dallas BBQ’s core customer base of African Americans and Hispanics, including ‘Hispanics are uneducated and just have babies and we have to pay for them,’ and ‘Blacks are dirty and cheap.’” (On the topic of cheapness, this is a place that automatically adds gratuities after 8 p.m. — though that’s probably just because people get krunk.) In addition, Rahman, who is ethnically Bengali, also allegedly gave less favorable shifts and less busy table assignments to non-Bengali employees.

And that’s not all. Ruiz is also saying that another manager, Bill Harris, made “unwanted sexual advances” toward him, including rubbing his shoulders and stomach without invitation. Both managers are still employed by the company.

When we reached out to the Third Avenue location, another manager there would say only, “It’s not something I know about or could comment on even if I did.” We’ve reached out to someone at the corporate level but have not heard back. More if we get it. Meanwhile, the full complaint is below.

Ruiz v. Dallas BBQ [PDF]

Up in Smoke: Dallas BBQ Sued by a Server for Alleged Ethnic Discrimination,