METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — Hooters of Louisiana, LLC and associated companies agreed to pay $650,000 to former African American employees to settle a race and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit alleges that a Hooters restaurant in Metairie, subjected African American employees to “a workplace environment of offensive and demeaning remarks based on their race since at least 2017.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the Hooters didn’t rehire any of the location’s Black employees after layoffs in 2020, and allegedly initially re-staffed the restaurant with non-Black employees.

According to the lawsuit, several of the laid-off workers complained about the racial remarks and hiring practices but were not rehired.

EEOC officials said the conduct alleged in the lawsuit violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discriminating based on race.

In addition to the $650,000 payment for backpay and damages, Hooters will also have to conduct training, revise its policies, provide regular reports to the EEOC and post a notice affirming the company’s obligations under Title VII.

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