What is Happening at darden?
In December 2011, workers from the Capital Grille Restaurant stood up for dignity in their restaurant company. On January 31st, Capital Grille workers in New York, Chicago, and in the Washington, DC area filed federal litigation against Capital Grille’s parent company Darden for discrimination and wage theft. In February, workers from Capital Grille in Los Angeles & Miami joined the struggle. And just this July, workers teamed up with law firms from across the country to file claims and additional EEOC charges. Listen to stories from Capital Grille workers below & click here to read about the litigation.
Nearly all the black servers at the Chevy Chase Capital Grille were fired and told that they "didn’t meet Capital Grille standards."
The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United has launched a campaign against Capital Grille and its parent company, Darden Restaurants, after Capital Grille workers in DC, Chicago, and New York City came forward with claims against the company ranging from discrimination to wage theft. Capital Grille workers in DC, Chicago, and NYC filed a claim in US District on January 31st . On February 15th, workers from Capital Grille in Los Angeles joined the struggle. On February 28th, Miami Capital Grille workers also launched their campaign and added their claims to the litigation.
The campaign started at a DC-area Capital Grille restaurant, where workers approached ROC United complaining of racial discrimination - nearly all the black servers at the Chevy Chase, MD Capital Grille were fired and told that they ‘didn’t meet Capital Grille standards.’ The restaurant’s only living-wage jobs, server and bartender positions, are held almost exclusively by white workers. After speaking with more workers, ROC United found that a number of other workers at the restaurant corroborated these problems. The workers’ charges are aimed at the company’s policies and practices, and not at any alleged racism of any individual.
ROC found that workers of all races, in the front & the back of the house, SAID They WERE experiencing different forms of abuse At Capital Grille restaurants.
After further investigation in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, ROC-United found that workers of all races, in the front of the house and the back of the house, said they were experiencing different forms of abuse at Capital Grille restaurants.
- Workers said they were being forced to work through their breaks, off the clock, and overtime without being compensated.
- Tipped workers were made to do non-tipped work while still being paid their lower tipped wage which, in many Darden restaurants, is as low as $2.13/hour.
- Servers complained of having to tip out 4% of gross sales to other workers (even if they were not tipped on all of those sales!).
- Workers said they were made to take on additional positions - servers are also food runners, dishwashers are janitors and window cleaners - without receiving any additional compensation.
- Workers hours in the back of the house are being cut but at the same time, they are being forced to take on more work
- Workers complained of unfairness and discrimination in application of disciplinary procedures
- Also, ROC-United found that paths to promotions were closed for many workers of color
ROC-United is asking that the company sit down and meet with ROC-United and the workers to resolve the workers’ concerns in a meaningful manner.
This effort is supported by ROC-United and our nearly 9,000 restaurant worker members in nine cities.