Black Worker Called N-Word 'Virtually Every Shift' At Restaurant: Lawsuit

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A Black restaurant worker is suing her former employer after she was allegedly called the N-word by fellow staffers during "virtually every shift."

According to court documents obtained by Atlanta Black Star, Rashonda Walden, 43 filed a racial discrimination lawsuit on Tuesday (July 18) against Flying Fish Bar & Grill in Savannah, Georgia.

In the lawsuit, Walden alleged she was called racial slurs during almost every shift by a 17-year-old server named McKenzie and general manager Jennifer, both of whom are white, after being hired in April.

“McKenzie LNU hurled racial slurs at Ms. Walden on virtually every shift they worked together, frequently referring to Ms. Walden as a ‘n*****’ and belittling her with comments like ‘You need to do this, n*****,’ ‘You don’t know what you are doing,’ and ‘You need to do this, little girl,’” the lawsuit states.

According to the suit, Jennifer yelled at Walden “You n*****… you need to listen!” on April 21 after the employee asked for help with running food to a large party. Walden also claims that she was subjected to racist treatment in front of customers that was overhead by Michael McMahon, the owner of Flying Fish Bar & Grill.

Other Black employees were called racial slurs by McKenzie, who allegedly said “I don’t care about y’all n******,” according to the lawsuit. Walden said she complained about racist treatment to McMahon and another Black manager, but she was warned to not speak up.

“We’re Black, and I don’t want you to lose your job … we’re in the South,” the manager said, according to the suit.

McMahon fired Walden on April 30, citing that things were "not working out" with her employment.

“The facts here feel like 1963, not 2023. This kind of blatant and unrepentant racism is as cruel as it is illegal,” Artur Davis said in a statement. “When Rashonda Walden stood up for herself, Michael McMahon not only ignored her. He fired her. Cases don’t normally get filed this quickly in federal court, but Ms. Walden deserved to be heard now.”

Walden is seeking damages and “declaratory judgment that Defendant’s actions violated Ms.Walden’s rights to be free from discrimination and retaliation based on her race and in violation.”

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