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Litigation, P.C. Law Firm
Los Angeles Litigation Law Firm 424-284-2401

Bartender Sues Chain Restaurant for Discrimination and Retaliation


It is rare to find a career counselor who would tell you this directly, but if you have excellent interpersonal skills and you want to make money, you may have a successful career in bartending.  The stereotype that almost everyone feels comfortable confiding in bartenders has a basis in reality.  Even when customers do not engage in long conversations with bartenders, bartenders are skilled at reading the room; they have your back, whether you know it or not.  Bartenders can discreetly put distance between you and a creepy suitor.  They know when it is not safe for you to drive home and can arrange for a rideshare ride with you.  Looking out for customers’ safety is part of a bartender’s job, but a bartender in San Francisco got fired when she did just that.  If your employer fired you in retaliation for acting in the interest of your customers, contact a Los Angeles retaliation lawyer.

Sexual Orientation Is a Protected Characteristic

Employment discrimination occurs when an employer takes an adverse action against an employee on the basis of a protected characteristic.  Most adverse actions are official disciplinary or financial actions by the employer, but a hostile work environment, in which the employer enables your coworkers to harass or bully you, is also considered an adverse action.  Sexual orientation is one of many protected characteristics, along with race, religion, age, disability, and national origin, among others.

The plaintiff in a recently filed lawsuit began working as a bartender at a chain restaurant in 2011.  Throughout her employment, the plaintiff’s coworkers knew that she is a lesbian, and none of them ever treated her disrespectfully because of it, except for one supervisor.  The lawsuit did not indicate when the plaintiff and the supervisor began working together, but from the beginning, he frequently made negative comments about the plaintiff’s appearance and sexual orientation.  It only got worse after she complained to human resources about it, and especially after she expressed other concerns about his management decisions.

Reporting Workplace Safety Violations Is a Protected Activity

Employer retaliation, in which an employer takes an adverse action against an employee because the employee has engaged in a protected activity, is also against the law.  Reporting a workplace safety violation to OSHA is a protected activity, and so is filing a workers’ compensation claim.  The plaintiff did both in the summer of 2022, and the employer terminated her employment.  The OSHA violation was related to the restaurant’s failure to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols that were in place in California at the time.  The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the employer in 2023, citing sex discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination of employment.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer

A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer terminated your employment after you reported safety violations at your place of employment.  Contact Litigation, P.C.  in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.


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