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EEOC Sues Danny’s Downtown for Race Discrimination, Moves for Contempt Finding On Prior Consent Decree

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it has simultaneously filed a contempt action and a racial discrimination suit against Danny's Downtown, operated by Danny's Restaurant, LLC, and Danny's of Jackson, LLC. Danny's Downtown Cabaret is a Jackson-based adult entertainment establishment.

On Sept. 28, 2012, EEOC filed a lawsuit against Baby O's (EEOC v. Baby O's Restaurant d/b/a Danny's [Civil Action No. 3:12-CV-681-DPF-FKB], in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, charging that Danny's subjected black female employees to unlawful race discrimination and retaliation. This lawsuit resulted in the court entering a consent decree on June 28, 2013. EEOC now charges that Danny's has failed to meet its obligations under the decree and should be held in civil contempt of court.

In addition to its failure to comply with the existing decree, EEOC charges that Danny's continues to discriminate against its African-American employees. The new lawsuit asserts that Danny's discriminated against a class of black employees by requiring them to work exclusively at a related gentlemen's club, Black Diamonds.

Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Danny's Restaurant, LLC and Danny's of Jackson, LLC f/k/a Baby O's Restaurant Inc. d/b/a Danny's Downtown Cabaret, [Civil Action No. 3:16-CV-769-HTW-LRA) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after the agency completed an investigation and attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC is seeking monetary damages for black workers harmed by these practices. The agency is also seeking injunctive relief designed to stop the discrimination and prevent it from recurring.

"The Commission fully expects employers to comply with court-ordered consent decrees and will bring failures to comply to the court's attention," said C. Emanuel Smith, regional attorney for EEOC's Birmingham District Office.

Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for EEOC's Birmingham District, said, "The court takes very seriously its mandate under the statute to prevent unlawful discrimination. Our laws prohibit employers from making work assignments based on race and from maintaining segregated work facilities."

EEOC's Birmingham District has jurisdiction in Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle.

EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.