Olive Garden employee files lawsuit after customer requests white server

Amira Donahue opted to quit her job at the Italian food chain due to what she alleges was a hostile work environment.

Amira Donahue
Amira Donahue (Credit: Amira Donahue Facebook)

Last week, a Black Olive Garden employee made headlines after it was revealed that a customer had refused to be served by her due to her race. Now, the 16-year-old has decided to sue the restaurant for being complicit in the racially discriminatory incident.

Saturday, Indiana law firm Danks and Danks made a Facebook post confirming that Amira Donahue had opted to quit her job at the Italian food chain due to what she alleges was a hostile work environment.

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“After Amira spoke up about being discriminated against by an Olive Garden customer, she has been harassed by and retaliated against by her coworkers and superiors,” the post reads. “Amira told her superiors about the harassment and retaliation by her coworkers, and Olive Garden failed to stop it from continuing.”

“Amira did her best to overcome the adversity at Olive Garden, but her environment had become intolerable. The final straw happened yesterday evening when Amira overheard a coworker say, ‘black people will do anything for money’ and ‘I don’t like her,’” the post continues.

Patience is virtue! If I would have acted any differently in that situation & played the “angry black girl” narrative…

Posted by Amira Donahue on Monday, March 2, 2020

Last week, Donahue went viral after an infuriated seated at a table assigned to her demanded a non-Black employee. The manager on duty immediately complied with the request.

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“The lady also made comments about me to another co-worker,” Donahue recalled, “saying that I am not family-friendly, that I should work at a strip club instead of an Olive Garden, that am I even black, am I from here, am I from America? — just offhand comments like that. And referring me to ‘the other one.’ ”

Meagan Bernstein, a spokeswoman for Olive Garden, said an investigation was completed.

“We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and the manager involved no longer works for our company,” she said. “We completed our investigation on Monday. As a result of our investigation, we made the decision to separate with the manager involved.”