ORANGE VILLAGE, Ohio – A lawsuit is being filed against the Bahama Breeze restaurant in Orange Village.
The suit alleges claims for “race discrimination in public accommodations, and civil liability for the crime of making false alarms.”
The suit was announced Monday by Chandra Law Firm on behalf of a group of women who are the plaintiffs in the incident.
The group was having dinner at the restaurant in Beachwood on June 19. They allege the trouble started when some of them were trying to leave while others were still waiting on their orders.
They say the restaurant manager then called the Orange Village Police Department and when officers arrived, the women say they had to show their receipts and prove that they paid.
According to the police report, the restaurant employees told officers that the group of about 40 women “became upset because it was taking too long to receive their bills.” They claim the women “threatened to leave without paying.”
However, the women disagree and claim they were harassed and treated as if they “couldn’t pay their bills.”
In 2009 the same restaurant chain settled a $1.26 million racial harassment lawsuit with 37 African-American workers at the Beachwood location.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the employees were frequently addressed with racial slurs such as the n-word and Aunt Jemima and homeboy.
The restaurant chain entered into a three-year consent decree under which they had to update written policies prohibiting discrimination, and provide anti-discrimination training.
Bahama Breeze never admitted to any wrong doing in the case and at the time said none of the managers were still with the business.
The manager of the Bahama Breeze at the time of this most recent complaint is no longer with the company.
A spokesperson with Bahama Breeze released the following statement to FOX 8 on Monday afternoon:
Everyone is welcome in our restaurants, and we strive to provide an exceptional experience for all our guests. The manager involved no longer works for us because they mistreated a guest, which is inconsistent with our values.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday afternoon with a statement from Bahama Breeze.