Amid allegations that people of color and those who did not meet certain standards of beauty were placed at undesirable tables at the Bagatelle club and restaurant in New York, the company is now facing a discrimination lawsuit from two of its own employees. The allegations outlined in the lawsuit include the following:

• French employees were given preferential treatment when hours and tables were assigned.
• Non-French employees were subjected to verbal and sexual harassment.
• African-American customers were often required to wait much longer than other customers to get a table and were given less desirable locations within the restaurant.

The suit was filed by a current server and a former server at Bagatelle.

An Alleged Pattern of Racial Discrimination

According to the two plaintiffs, Bagatelle had established codes that were used on reservations and bills to identify customers they found undesirable:

• The code DNA stood for “Do Not Accommodate” and was used to mark bills and reservations made by minorities.
• BO was also used to identify customers deemed ugly by management or other staff members.

The suit also alleges that unwanted customers were then placed at Table 157. The table, located at the back, was out of sight of most of the rest of the restaurant and was referred to as the Ghetto Station by employees of Bagatelle. In some cases, patrons of the restaurant who sat at this table might be forced to sit two to a chair to accommodate the size of their dining party.

Bagatelle’s Response

Bagatelle is denying these charges and has issued a statement that reads, in part: “We do not seat patrons based on their race or tolerate discrimination on any basis. While we don’t comment on pending litigation, we intend to defend ourselves and look forward to clearing our name in this matter.”

To learn more about discrimination in the workplace, call the attorneys of Risman & Risman at 212-233-6400. You can view the entire story at

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