Employment Discrimination Blog

Friday, April 20, 2012

Four Employees Suing IHOP, Claiming Wrongful Termination

This month, four Muslim men sued IHOP, claiming they were fired from their managerial positions in the Dallas/Fort Worth area because of their religion, as well as their ethnicity.

In the lawsuit, they claimed that although they got positive performance reviews, all were fired in the course of a year and were replaced by white, non-Muslim managers. They allege that one of those replacements told other managers at a meeting that “Arab men  treat women poorly and with disrespect . . . we’re going to have to let these people go and have new faces coming in”. One of the men at the meeting was fired a few weeks later for an incident that occurred while he was counseling a female employee over a mistake she made.

The lawsuit alleges that the CEO of a franchise that owned several IHOPS in the area, as well as his son, made many racist remarks against Muslims and people of Arab-ethnic origin. For example, the CEO would email one of the Muslim managers every September 11, advising him to “lay low”. The CEO also allegedly referred to Muslims waiting to break their Ramadan fast as “dogs waiting for their meal”. The lawsuit also claims that IHOP’s standard termination procedures were not followed in the firings. Usually, employees were given several verbal and written warnings before a termination.

Many employment terminations may seem unfair, but could be perfectly legal. In order for a termination to be illegal, an employer must break a specific law. Some examples of wrongful termination would include: discrimination based on sex, race, gender, disability, etc.; retaliation for you reporting illegal activity on the part of the employer; or a breach of contract.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated, contact the attorneys at Pankey & Horlock ass soon as possible.  We can help determine if your termination was proper, or if you were wrongfully terminated. Call us today to learn more.

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