This week, a jury found that Briggitta Hardin, a twenty-something Howard graduate, had been discriminated against by her former employer Red Line DC, LLC. As a result, she was awarded a whopping $687,000 in damages with the jury citing her civil rights had been violated.
Hardin, who worked as a bartender at the upscale Washington D.C. sports bar Redline, was fired a mere one hour after meeting the bar’s owner Mick Dadlani, who she says refused to shake her hand or even speak to her, the Washington Post wrote.
Eight former and current employees testified in court, with some saying under oath that they noticed a lack of Black bartenders working at the Redline and heard Dadlani say that he preferred “hot blonde white chicks” behind the bar.
However, these racial attitudes were not only seen as aggressions toward Black staff and applicants, but toward patrons as well. One person testified that in 2011, Dadlani had closed Redline down early because a “group of customers [were] dressed in baggy clothing or who had a “ganglike” appearance,” The Post reported. There were also accusations that bouncers would racially profile potential Black patrons at the door, pretending to have a guest list for non-existent parties in order to shoo them away.
Dadlani’s lawyer Sundeep Hora told the press that he was unhappy with the court’s outcome, arguing in his closing remarks that the Redline is diverse and even has “brown-haired and male bartenders,” the Washingtonian pointed out.
(Not sure how having brunettes or men makes your establishment racially diverse or even less racially biased, but OK Mr. Hora.)
“From our perspective, Redline has always been a diverse place. Anyone who walks in there can see that immediately. We are very disappointed in the verdict, and at this point, we are considering all options available to us,” he said.
Hora also stresses that Hardin was fired for “legitimate reasons” and never complained about discrimination before.
While Hardin didn’t give any comments after the verdict was read, her lawyer Megan Cacace said that the decision was music to her client’s ears.
“[This is] vindication for Ms. Hardin who has been waiting years and years…It is certainly valuable to her that she was heard, but once you’ve had that experience you can’t take it back and it’s never going to go away. Discrimination hurts and it’s a lasting hurt,” she said.
We hear you on that.