The property didn’t respond to the suit from a former employee, resulting in the judge awarding the monetary settlement to the plaintiff. The former employee is also suing Wow Food Concepts, which holds special events and provides catering for the country club. Wow Foods is denying the allegations that supervisors discriminated against the African-American employee and created a hostile work environment through verbal bullying.
A former employee has sued the Beaumont (Texas) Country Club for racial discrimination and won a judgment of $340,000, reported KFDM-TV of Beaumont.
The plaintiff, Austin Mintas, worked at Beaumont CC as a part-time host under the direction of Wow Food Concepts, which provides special events and catering services for the venue, KFDM reported. In his suit, Mintas accused his supervisors of racial discrimination and of creating a hostile work environment against him and other black employees.
Court papers show the country club didn’t respond to the suit, KFDM reported, so Jefferson County District Court Judge Donald Floyd ruled in favor of Mintas, awarding him more than $340,000.
The judge’s decision is a judgment only against Beaumont CC, KFDM reported. Wow Food Concepts has denied all of the allegations and a separate suit against that firm is still pending,
In his lawsuit, KFDM reported, Mintas made specific charges of “verbal abuse…bullying…[and] treatment of black employees [that] was unacceptable.”
Mintas’ lawsuit alleges the final straw was when he says the kitchen supervisor publicly humiliated him, then called him a racial slur. When Mintas objected, he says the supervisor got angry, reported KFDM.
“As we walked into the office, he said to me, ‘I don’t know who the [expletive] you think you are,’ ” said Mintas.
In his lawsuit, Mintas says he complained to his boss and when he did, he was fired.
“We sat down and she said, ‘We no longer can use you,’ and my question to her was ‘Why not?’ and she didn’t say anything,” said Mintas.
Mintas’ attorney, Darrell Minton, told KFDM that his client “was [an] outstanding, outgoing go-getter.”
“It was sad that a good person like that would be subject to that kind of abuse,” Minton said.
In his lawsuit, KFDM reported, Mintas said that despite the treatment he alleged, he tried to help the country club, even recruiting events for the facility.
“He was always looking out for the boss, but it didn’t go both ways,” Minton told KFDM.
“Austin is a model employee,” Minton added. “Austin had never been disrespectful. It was just this one day that Austin suddenly insisted that he be treated with dignity that he earned [and] then he became too ‘uppity’ for the country club environment.”
Mintas and his lawyer vowed to keep fighting to also receive a judgment against Wow Food Concepts, KFDM reported.
“There is an air of white privilege that certain people are entitled to be served and other people are condemned to serve under hostile conditions and emotional abuse,” Minton said.