A Dorchester restaurant and bar and its owner have been accused of violating Massachusetts civil rights and public accommodations laws in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office.
According to the AG’s office, the complaint alleges the eatery, Peggy O'Neil, engaged in a pattern of not allowing customers of color to enter and use the bar. (WCxKit)
“We allege that [Caron O'Neil, owner of] Peggy O’Neil engaged in discriminatory and unlawful conduct,” Coakley said. “No one who lives, works, or visits Massachusetts should be subjected to discrimination. All businesses must ensure that appropriate anti-discrimination policies are posted and adhered to within their establishments.”
The lawsuit claims that in December 2010, two men of Cape Verdean and African-American descent went to Peggy O’Neil, located in Dorchester, and waited in line with other customers as staff allowed numerous Caucasian customers to enter the bar in front of them. The owner, Caron O’Neil, who was working alongside bar staff allegedly said to the group, “This is your first time here, huh?” and informed them that they could not get in because it was too late. She allegedly told the group she did not “want any trouble,” that she didn’t know them, and that they should find somewhere else to go. At the same time, several white customers were allowed to enter the bar.
Later that evening, a second group of friends of Cape Verdean, Spanish and African American descent went to the bar and was also allegedly denied entry by bar staff. Bar staff asked them for their identification cards which they provided. The bouncer allegedly asked them if they knew the owner of the bar and who they were there to see. At the same time, other Caucasian customers were allowed to enter the bar, many of whom appeared to be intoxicated.
According to the lawsuit, O’Neil told the group that they could not come in the bar because they did not know the bar’s owner. She allegedly stated to them, “You don’t look like the type of people” the owner would know and “we don’t like people of your kind here” among other statements. The lawsuit further states that a third group of persons of color were denied entry to Peggy O’Neil in April 2011 and were treated in a similar manner. (WCxKit)
The Attorney General’s lawsuit is seeking monetary damages, civil penalties and permanent injunctive relief, in addition to a preliminary injunction requiring the defendants and Peggy O’Neil’s staff to comply with state and federal anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws, undergo anti-discrimination training, and implement an approved anti-discrimination policy.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
Our WORKERS COMP BOOK: www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.