PITTSBURGH — A black man who quit working at a suburban Pittsburgh Panera Bread restaurant last year has sued the franchisee, saying the company doesn’t want blacks in positions where they interact with the public.
Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises says in a statement that the 21-year-old man who filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday is a disgruntled employee who walked off the job last year for violating company policies.
The lawsuit filed by Guy Vines echoes claims in a November lawsuit by a white manager who claims he was fired from the restaurant for objecting to Vines’ treatment.
Covelli says it investigated the former manager’s claims and called them “completely unfounded.”
The attorney for both plaintiffs says Covelli has a policy of discriminating against people who are “black, fat or ugly.”