Three workers, who previously worked together at both a Detroit and Dearborn Tim Hortons, announced their intentions to file a federal race discrimination lawsuit against their former employer on Dec. 18. Each of the African-American workers alleges that they were paid an hourly rate that is below minimum wage and that their supervisors used racial slurs in interacting with them.
One of the employees who filed suit had worked as a head backer for Tim Hortons for 18 years before her firing on Oct. 24. The 43-year-old Detroit woman notes that white co-workers were given raises, called in sick without being questioned, left work early without being punished and were given “easy jobs” to perform — the opposite of what she was subjected to herself.
Her 26-year-old daughter, who worked for the same company as a new employee trainer for four years, was let go on Nov. 14. On the day of her firing, managers were reportedly unwilling to step in and defend her when a customer referred to her as “an animal”. She notes that one of her supervisors instead told her that she deserved the use of the terminology because she’s black.
The 20-year-old supervisor, who’d worked for Tim Hortons for the past three years noted that the white female manager constantly used racial slurs including the n-word and “black boy” in interacting with him. During one of their last interactions, she asked him to get out of “her store” when he tried to bring up his concerns with her. He was removed from the schedule then was told he was being reassigned weeks later.
According to a complaint previously filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Detroit, the three had all originally worked together at Wyoming and Ford Road Tim Hortons before they were transferred to the Dearborn one at the intersection of Beech Daly and Ford Road earlier this year. This is when the alleged “outrageous misconduct” began.
A spokesperson for Tim Hortons has noted that any type of harassment is wrong. The owners for the locations where these employees worked have declined to comment on the case.
Workplace discrimination is illegal, whether it involves an employee being treated differently on the basis of race, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, national origin or another protected status. A workplace discrimination attorney can help you protect your rights as an at-will employee before you get fired.