Bahama Breeze to pay $1.26M in Ohio race complaint

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2009 11:16 PM

The Orlando, Fla.-based Bahama Breeze restaurant chain has agreed to pay $1.26 million to settle complaints about alleged racial harassment of 37 black employees in Ohio.

The settlement involving the Beachwood location in suburban Cleveland was announced Monday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The agency says black employees were subjected to repeated harassment including racially tinged terms including the "N" word. Blacks say they were denied work breaks while white co-workers got breaks.

The chain denied wrongdoing and agreed to post anti-discrimination policies and provide anti-discrimination training.

Bahama Breeze spokesman Mike Bernstein says the company won't tolerate discriminatory behavior. He says the complaints were limited to one location and most emerged more than five years ago.