A Greensboro restaurant is facing a federal lawsuit over alleged discriminatory rehiring practices. 

Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its lawsuit against Hooters of America. The commission claims that in the wake of pandemic-driven layoffs, the Georgia-based corporation violated federal law when officials there chose not to recall employees of color.

Before COVID, slightly more than half of what are known as the “Hooters Girls” in Greensboro were Black and/or dark skin toned. Following the rehiring in May of 2020, that dropped to 8 percent.

According to the complaint, even prior to the shift in racial composition of the workforce, white employees there received preferential treatment while people of color experienced racial hostility.

The suit filed in a North Carolina federal court states that this conduct violates the Civil Rights Act protecting against workplace discrimination. In its press release, the EEOC states that the suit was filed after attempts to reach a pre-litigation settlement with Hooters through voluntary conciliation failed.

The commission is seeking monetary relief for employees as well as a change in the company’s hiring decisions to ensure that moving forward they are free from racial bias.

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