Workers at the Capital Grille restaurants in Miami and Los Angeles have joined a growing class-action lawsuit against the chain’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, over alleged racial discrimination, illegal labor practices, and violations of state wage laws.
The suit was originally brought by a group of Capital Grille workers in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and it has recently expanded its membership significantly, according to the advocacy organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.
During a busy dinner service at Miami’s Capital Grille yesterday, protesters presented the managers of the branch with a letter accusing them of denying employees equal opportunities for training and promotions, wage theft, and creating a hostile work environment.
In alliance with ROC-United, the workers plan to take on one of the largest restaurant companies in the United States, which has more than 1,900 outlets and employs about 179,000 people. The Darden group includes the Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Longhorn Steakhouse chains. According to the Miami Herald, the lawsuit was originally filed in January in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and was recently amended to include workers from Miami and Los Angeles.