Complaint: On Friday October 1 2004 at approximately 9:15pm, I was in the bar area of O’Charley’s when two of our guest (Kenya R. Williams and Stephen Osborne) asked me what was the name of the manager who had just left the bar area. I replied that my manager on duty was Joe Sebert. Miss. Williams then asked me for the number to O’Charley’s corporate office. I supplied the guest with the number and asked if something was wrong. Kenya then stated that she had overheard Joe tell the bartender Rachel to save a drink that had been returned to the bar, after it had been in the possession of a guest seated in the dining area. The guest had tasted the drink and didn’t like it. She stated that she saw Rachel physically place the drink in the cooler. I stated that this was not O’Charley’s policy and that I would check into it. I proceeded to check on my guest that was seated in the glass house section of the building. As I was returning to the kitchen, Joe Sebert approached me and said that he needed to speak with me and to stay in the back of the restaurant. I took the dishes that were in my hand and put them in the dish pit. As I was washing my hands Joe came around the corner and started to berate me. He said quote: The next time a guest wants to know my name and how to get in touch with corporate you come get me! If they need to know sh** like that I am the one they need to deal with! I know that she is your friend! As much as I cover your a** I don’t believe you would sell me out like that! You stay away from the bar and if that bit** needs anything else she’ll get it from me! End quote. I told Joe that if he needed to speak to me that we could take it to the office but that he WAS NOT going to disrespect me in front of guest and coworkers like he was doing. Joe then yelled: I am the manager and I will do what the fu** I want. He did this standing by the salad cooler and in front of a guest at the to go stand and everyone on the cook line. The server assistant Kenny, was standing there taking all of this in. I walked back to the bar area and asked the bartender what the problem was because she obviously was the one who relayed my conversation with Miss Williams and Mr. Osborne to Joe Sebert. She stated all she did was told Joe that there was a problem and that she DID NOT tell Joe that I prodded the guest to call corporate on him. I went and checked on my tables and was entering the kitchen again when Joe ran up behind me and started yelling about me going to the bar. I continued to walk to the back and Joe said to meet him in the office. Josh accompanied Joe and I into the office and observed Joe berate me once again about all that he had done for me and bringing up things that were totally irrelevant to situation at hand. He continued to refer to Miss Williams as a b***h and that I was one for selling him out. At this point I was tired of the verbal assault. I opened the office door and slammed it as I proceeded to check on my table. As I was passing the full hands out rack, the dish guy and I were about to collide so I tried to avoid him. In doing so I hit the water spray, inadvertently knocking down 3-5 tips skillets. Joe came running up behind me and yelled that if I had a problem with him then I could clock out and get the fu** out. I told Joe to fu** off. He then followed me on the server line continuing to state that I had sold him out. At this point I was at the end of my rope and I turned around and told him that if he had a problem that we could settle it right then and there. Joe crossed the server line and stepped to me and said, What are you going to do? At this point Darion stepped between Joe and I and I told Darion to move. Darion said please calm down. I then turned and left the kitchen area and cashed out one of my tables. Apparently, Joe took this opportunity to call Barry and the police. When the police arrived, Joe stated that I had threatened him and refused to leave. I stated to the police that Joe had not told me to leave and that I had conveyed no threat to him. Though the officers were present, Joe continued to be belligerent towards me prompting one of the officers (Officer Dozier) to ask him to calm down. He continued to taunt me and state that I had sold him out. At this point I told the officers what I needed to do to leave and they allowed me to cash out. As I was leaving the building, Chris Alves was about to enter the establishment. I made him aware of what had happened and he said that he would look into it. He also spoke with Miss Williams. I was told that I am banned from the property and asked not to return. On my way home, I telephone Barry Fortner and let him know what had transpired. Barry assured me that he would investigate the situation. To date the company refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing on Joe Sebert’s part. They claim I was a disturbance because I demanded respect. I sent them the following letter: December 4, 2004 OCharley’s Corp. Dear Sir or Madam: This letter is to inform you of the injustices, unfairness and prejudice that are prevalent at your South Charlotte location (Store #320). As an employee of your company I was consistently exposed to racial prejudice, harassment, and unfairness by fellow employees and members of your management staff. It was during one of these instances that I was fired because I reacted to a negative situation in which a member of your management team was harassing me. Attached you will find a statement of facts that will enlighten you on the events that led to my wrongful termination. I have spoken with Barry Fortner and he has informed me that based on his investigation of the matter, it was deemed that my termination stood. I fine this to be very peculiar because I have spoken with several members of the staff that were on duty that night. Some have gone as far as to give me written statements as to what they saw that night and they have said that Barry has NEVER approached them on this matter. This is the kind of inconsistencies that have plagued not only my tenure with your company, but many others as well. I have spoken with several former employees that have been terminated or that have resigned from your company and some that are still on staff that have been verbally or physically abused by members of your management staff. There are also those that have been treated adversely due to their race. These actions are against the law and nothing has ever been done once these incidences have been reported. Management has also allowed employees to profile guest as they enter the restaurant to determine whether or not they are quote Ghetto end quote. Management has stood by while servers have refused to serve black guest. Black guest have been mistreated at the hands of not only servers, but management as well. THIS CANNOT BE TOLERATED ANY LONGER! In talks with my attorney, I have been advised to contact you in a last ditch effort to allow you to voluntarily rectify the situation. Though I was and am doubtful, he assured me that based on the information that I have collected, part of which I am sharing with you now, you would seize the opportunity to right the wrongs that are before you. If you prefer mediation, I am sure that will resolve the initial problem of my wrongful termination, but not the underlying one of blunt racism. Though the arbitration agreement that we are made to sign upon acceptance of employment binds me to mediation, it does not bind my freedom of speech. That being so I have taken the liberty of contacting my local NAACP representative and made him aware of these instances and my efforts to get O’Charley’s to respond. I DO NOT intend to overlook this situation and to the fullest of my capabilities, I will see this thing through. I respectfully request that you respond to this posthaste. Sincerely, Carlos J W O’Charley’s choose to threaten me with legal action if I persisted. I chose to persist because people need to be held accountable for their actions. Carlos Fort Mill, South CarolinaU.S.A.
Address: 3038 Sidco Drive Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A.