On January 29, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Bell Nunnally client R Wings R Wild LLC (RWRW) announced the settlement of a class action dispute that alleged claims of sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act. The Commission brought the suit (Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-624-BRW) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division.
The central claim brought against RWRW, the owner/operator of the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise locations, stemmed from a male bartender who alleged that in 2014 he applied for and was denied employment due to his gender. The class size, at one point as high as 10 claimants, numbered only three at the matter’s conclusion. The suit sought monetary relief in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, compensation for lost benefits and an injunction.
RWRW agreed to a nominal monetary settlement, a fraction of the total amount initially sought by the Commission, and it agreed to conduct sex discrimination training at its locations to demonstrate its continuing commitment to providing equal employment opportunities for all.
“While our client has denied the Commissions’ allegations since day one, we are pleased that we were able to work amicably with the EEOC to settle this matter at a monetary value that more appropriately reflected the scope of the alleged offense than what the Commission initially sought. R Wings R Wild always strives to provide a harmonious and legally compliant workplace, and this agreement will only strengthen our client’s commitment to providing same,” said Bell Nunnally Partner Alana K. Ackels, part of the firm’s team representing RWRW, along with Partner Jay M. Wallace and Senior Associate Brent D. Hockaday.
R Wings R Wild CEO, Jeromy Howard, stated, “We are pleased to put this matter behind us. Our restaurant group is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants, while providing patrons with an excellent dining experience.”