A fired black bartender for Kid Rock’s Made in America Restaurant says her managers fired her for wearing “her hair natural” rather than straightening it or putting it up like her white co-workers.
Carinne Silverman-Maddox says in a federal lawsuit she was pulled from her shift and suspended the first time she wore a “curly Afro” at work at the restaurant, which is located in Little Caesars Arena. The arena is the home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.
The restaurant’s general manager and floor manager falsely told her they had witnessed her overpouring a drink and suspended her pending an investigation, Silverman-Maddox says in a Jan. 29 complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. But she was never put back on the schedule and was later fired after her lawyer told the restaurant she had contacted the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Silverman-Maddox says.
White bartenders frequently overpoured drinks yet kept their jobs, she says. Bartenders needed to “free pour” drinks because the restaurant didn’t have enough measuring devices, the complaint says. They also were instructed by managers to “free pour drinks heavily” whenever Kid Rock was present, the lawsuit asserts.
A white employee who was caught not checking customer IDs wasn’t suspended or fired even though that’s a more serious infraction than overpouring a drink, Silverman-Maddox says. That worker was instead only issued a verbal warning.
Yet Silverman-Maddox, the restaurant’s only black bartender, was suspended and fired for a single alleged offense despite having never previously been disciplined in her time at Kid Rock’s Made in America, the complaint says.
Kid Rock’s Made in America and lead defendant Delaware North Companies didn’t immediately respond Jan. 30 to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment.
The lawsuit also names Top Dog Records Inc. and Bobby Moscow LLC as defendants. Those two companies co-own Kid Rock’s Made in America, the complaint says.
Schulz Gotham PLC and Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice represent Silverman-Maddox. No attorney had filed an appearance yet for the companies.
The case is Silverman-Maddox v. Del. N. Cos., E.D. Mich., No. 3:19-cv-10294, complaint filed 1/29/19.