Even law firms get sued for discrimination once in a while, but you would expect lawyers to be smart enough not to serve Big Red and fried chicken to black employees in celebration of Juneteenth. Talk about stereotyping!!
Sadly that is just what has happened to Dallas law firm Eberstein & Witherite (Better known as the 1-800-Carwreck firm). The firm’s “all white” management allegedly made the decision to celebrate Juneteenth with Big Red and Fried Chicken after two employees asked to have the day off.
According to the petition, the firm’s HR manager replied to the request by saying: “Y’all don’t need no day off. Ya’ll need to work.” She then allegedly sought and obtained permission to serve Big Red and fried chicken to employees on that day instead.
For those who are not familiar, Juneteenth, or, Freedom Day, is an unofficial holiday on June 19 each year to commemorate the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. On June 18, 1865, during the civil war, Federal General Gordon Granger landed on Galveston Island. The following day June 19th, General Granger proclaimed the slaves of Texas freed. Over time, a celebration developed around the day each year.
The law firm’s racist traits do not appear to end with the Juneteenth incident, however. The lawsuit alleges that the firm’s HR manager made other comments such as:
- Complaining that she is “sick and tired of Black women bitching about being the victim” (interesting for a personal injury firm).
- Quizzing black employees by saying “I don’t even know if you’re Black.”
- Commenting “Oh no. You’re not going to have that mad, bitter Black attitude with me.”
Later, the firm is alleged to have terminated both black employees for being unhappy with their jobs.
Handling these types of cases for as many years as I have, you would think nothing surprises me anymore. This one did. Take a lesson from the claims made here: Don’t try to be cute. And, (no opinions cast here) be sure that your HR Manager is not a racist.