Fired Proud Bird Bartenders Allege Age Discrimination

posted by City News Service -

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Four people are suing the owners and managers of the remodeled Proud Bird restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport, alleging they were given menial tasks after they applied to be bartenders and later fired because they were all over age 50.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit also alleges the internal managers of the Proud Bird Food Bazaar & Events Center on Aviation Boulevard favored young, Latino employees over older workers of other ethnic groups. The suit filed Tuesday names as defendants Specialty Restaurants Corp. and Runway Two-Five Corp. and alleges wrongful termination, age discrimination and harassment, race-based discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

A representative for Specialty Restaurants did not immediately reply to an email sent for comment. The plaintiffs are Rocco DiNobile, Edwart Lippert, John Apodaca and Stephanie Thompson. They seek at least $250,000 in damages. The four were hired in June 2017 and told to report to work, the suit states. But when they did so, ``they learned that the job involved far more than the tending of bar duties for which they were hired,'' according to the complaint.

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DiNobile, Lippert and Apodaca were repeatedly told to move heavy, eight-foot-tall racks of glassware as well as chairs, tables and other furniture, the suit states. Thompson was assigned to clean restrooms and other areas of the eatery, the suit states. The Latino internal management team ``singled out and berated one or more of the plaintiffs, who were among the oldest employees about how slow they were moving heavy items...'' the suit states. 

Eleven days after being hired, the plaintiffs were fired by the general manager, who told each they were ``not a good fit,'' the suit states.When the Proud Bird reopened after the remodeling was complete, most if not all of the bartenders working there were no older than their late 20s, the suit states.

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