DALLAS, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A lawsuit was filed Monday in the 162nd Judicial District Court in Dallas County alleging widespread discriminatory practices by Vandelay Hospitality Group, LLC, its Chief Executive Officer, William Hunter Pond, and its Chief Operating Officer, Jon Peck. The suit, filed by McCathern PLLC, alleges that the company, its CEO and COO, fostered a toxic environment of racist, sexist, and homophobic employment and customer service practices in violation of Chapter 451 of the Texas Labor Code. The six-count petition also alleges fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other charges.
Vandelay owns and operates a group of high-end restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including such familiar names as Drake's Hollywood, East Hampton Sandwich Company, Hudson House, Brentwood, and D.I. Mack's.
The suit was brought on behalf of Glenn Govias, former General Manager of Vandelay's Drake's Hollywood property and a seasoned restaurant industry executive for more than two decades. Prior to being recruited by Vandelay in late 2019, Govias spent almost a decade as Senior Executive Restaurant Manager for Pappadeaux Seafood Restaurant in Richardson, Texas.
Govias alleges he witnessed the company's corrupt corporate culture first-hand, including members of senior management insisting he and other subordinates, "fire the Black guy," "fire the Mexican guy," or "fire the ugly girl," for no justifiable employment-related reason. Govias also alleges that restaurant hosts were instructed to turn away non-white customers under the pretext of unspecified "dress code violations" and to reject reservation requests from guests believed to be of African American, Middle Eastern, or Hispanic heritage because of their surnames.
"The clear pattern of discriminatory behavior of employees, toxic work culture, and specific violations of the Texas Labor Code are some of the most egregious violations of labor law we have ever seen," said Levi G. McCathern, II, Partner at McCathern PLLC, one of the leading law firms in Texas, which serves as attorneys for Plaintiff Govias. "It is difficult to envision any viable defense to the direct testimony and other compelling evidence we intend to bring forward to prosecute this case."
The full petition, including additional details, can be found here.
About McCathern, Shokouhi, Evans, Grinke, PLLC
McCathern, Shokouhi, Evans, Grinke, PLLC is a law firm with offices in Dallas, Frisco, Houston, and Los Angeles as well as 'Of Counsel' attorneys covering all fifty states. Full-service in scope, the firm has a broad range of practice group specializations led by experienced attorneys. Formed in 1998, McCathern has established a reputation of excellence in providing legal services. Its leaders bring large-firm experience and business acumen to a small-firm environment of agility and efficiency. The firm's track record has attracted an impressive and loyal clientele list, ranging from small companies and high-net-worth individuals to Fortune 500 corporations and high-profile organizations. Their philosophy of Improving People's Lives is applied every day by regarding clients as valued business partners, working together to resolve disputes, and closing transactions diligently and resourcefully. With Board Certified® Trial attorneys, McCathern clients are represented by some of the best in the country.
SOURCE McCathern, PLLC