Wolfgang Puck's Dallas Catering Employees Are Drunken, Tobacco-Chewing Thiefs, Lawsuit Claims

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Wolfgang Puck will cut you.
Robert Garmon and Rodney Spinato were the only black bartenders working for Wolfgang Puck Catering's Dallas operation. They were, as they describe in a discrimination lawsuit filed today, "excellent, hard-working employees who were wrongfully terminated because of their race."

What led them to this conclusion was not the fact that they were the operations only black bartenders but a "racially motivated verbal attack" delivered by a coworker and the disparate punishment that followed. According to their complaint, an employee named Max, who is white, launched into an unprovoked tirade on May 2, calling them stupid and worthless and suggesting they should be replaced by Mexicans. (A message left with Wolfgang Puck Catering has not been returned.)

"The connotation of this offensive language is that African Americans were such bad workers and lacking in intelligence that their jobs should be given to Mexicans," the suit states.

Garmon and Spinato say they briefly argued back and were told that they were being suspended without pay. In two more days, they say, they were fired. That might not have been so offensive had Max received the same punishment, but he didn't. He didn't get so much as a slap on the wrist, the suit claims.

"White employees are treated differently," the lawsuit says. Garmon and Spinato's firings were "completely unfounded and constituted a significantly more severe punishment than levied against white employees who engaged in similar or worse activities."

At which point the lawsuit enumerates, by name, the sins of their former colleagues.

In addition to the actions of Max referenced above, Tim (white male) was caught drinking on the job and smuggling in his personal liquor to the job site in violation of TABC rules and regulations. (Tim) was written up, but was not terminated. On information and belief, (Tim) continues to drink on the job, but has never been fired. Max (white male) and Gerald (white male) and other white bartenders have repeatedly been warned and written-up because of policy violations and misconduct with customers. They have all been allowed to keep their jobs. On information and belief, (Gerald) has also been caught drunk and/or under the influence of other intoxicating substances on the job. (Gerald) was not punished or fired.

Corey (white male) openly uses chewing tobacco behind the bar and in front of customers in violation of company policy. Although management was made aware of the policy violations, no punishment was ever levied. (Corey) is still employed.

In September 2011, Chelsea (white female) was promoted to manager even though numerous witnesses had reported to management that she regularly sstole money from the register. (Corey) was never written up or suspended for her actions.

On or about April 23, 2012, Molly (white female) called the Mexican American members of the cleaning crew "Fat ass lazy Mexicans" for no apparent reason whatsoever. Ms. Miller made these derogatory statements in the presence of the manager who proceeded to laugh. (Molly) was not written up or punished in any way for her actions.

Given all that, "Wolfgang Puck Catering's termination of Garmon and Spinato for allegedly arguing with Williams is nothing but a pretext for racial discrination."

Garmon and Spinato are seeking lost wages, unspecified damages, and orders to ensure the company complies with state labor laws and federal anti-discrimination laws.

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19 comments
true
true

These two are notorious thieves and liars as well as violent thugs. They were fired for physically threatening a coworker. That is grounds for termination. Playing the racism card only exemplifies their ignorance. The lawsuit is ridiculous and a very feeble attempt at getting some money where absolutely none is owed to them (please refer back to the "thieves and liars" comment above).  Shame on you Observer. Do some fact checking before you start slandering people publicly.

W.E.
W.E.

I know every person mentioned in this article, and i'm more than amused by how some people will grasp at things so far out of reach. Mr Garmon was without a doubt the most racist employee that I think I ever worked with. I have no clue how he got away with the things he would say for so very long. Things such as, you gota have some bling on so these white people, (patrons) tip more. Also very strange the way he spoke, being that his wife is white. Not only did he constantly make racial remarks, he used many of the famous four letter words in front of patrons, and was never punished. It was a long time coming for his termination. He was lucky to have lasted as long as he did.  I would also like to add.. There are two other "black" bartenders, one male and one female. In no way was anyone terminated due to race.    

truthhurts
truthhurts

That's not what there job reports say

YaValioCacaWates
YaValioCacaWates

Has the heath inspector checked this place out?  I wouldn't consume any more of their food even if it was free.

04251978
04251978

This is all such a lie.  I happen to know what ACTUALLY happened in the situation revolving around Max Williams and the two "victims" and it's absolutely RIDICULOUS that The Observer reported this without some real fact checking.  These two "victims" actually threatened the lives of several of the "white" employees. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Born Wolfgang Johannes Topfschnig.  I can see why he changed his name.  But, seriously, a corporation that size that doesn't have diversity training for its staff is unthinkable in this day and age.  

engmofo
engmofo

Puckin'  'Ell......

Darrin Woodard
Darrin Woodard

and dont forget heroin and crystal meth addicts.

Lance Mutzman
Lance Mutzman

Thiefs or thieves? Who the hell proof reads this stuff??

Heather Golightly
Heather Golightly

"75% of restaurant staff in Dallas are drunken, self-righteous, conniving morons"? I'm speechless. You've obviously never been a server, known a server or possibly have never even gone out to eat in Dallas. What a bitch, get a grip.

Brittany Villegas
Brittany Villegas

75% of the restaurant staff in Dallas are drunken, self-righteous, conniving morons. Surprise surprise.

truthhurts
truthhurts

@04251978 There's no threats ever made on firing reports

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