DC bar that fired student for not being “white” and “blonde” must pay $687,000

A DC bar that fired an African-American Howard University student on her first day as a bartender has been ordered to pay $687,000 as a result of a discrimination lawsuit leveled against the bar.

According to Briggitta Hardin, the bar hired her in 2010, and she arrived to her first day of work and met Redline owner Mick Dadlani. However, Dadlani seemed to be upset by her presence and would not speak to her or even shake her hand.

“Ms. Hardin introduced herself and extended her hand to greet Dadlani, but Dadlani refused to touch her hand,” the complaint read, according to the Washingtonian. “Instead, Dadlani looked Ms. Hardin up and down with visible disgust and walked away, appearing angered by her presence.”

Less than an hour later, Hardin was told that she would no longer be working at the bar.

“Testimony from former managers and employees revealed that Dadlani expressed a preference for hiring white, blonde women for bartending positions, and ignored management’s repeated objections that such hiring restrictions are illegal,” Hardin’s counsel alleged.

“This case involved not only significant evidence from Ms. Hardin but also significant evidence from other people who have no stake at all,” Hardin’s attorney, Megan Cacace, concluded. “A lot of testimony that confirmed defendant’s statements had happened.”

A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded Hardin $175,000 in compensatory damages and $512,000 in punitive damages.