Live! Casino Pittsburgh Restaurant Racial Dispute Continues, Worker Claims

Posted on: July 6, 2021, 03:41h. 

Last updated on: July 6, 2021, 05:31h.

A racial controversy continues at a restaurant at Live! Casino Pittsburgh, even though the Pennsylvania eatery owner told the media the issue was resolved.

Black workers allege they were paid less than comparable white employees
Guy Fieri pictured above with a Hollywood Walk of Fame award. Fieri, owner of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar at Live! Casino in Pittsburgh said a racial dispute involving Black workers was resolved. One worker disagrees. (Image: Insider)

The dispute stems from an incident where two ex-employees of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar at Live! Casino alleged a manager uttered a racial slur in the presence of the African American workers earlier this year.

They also alleged Black employees were paid less than comparable white employees, according to KDKA, a local TV station.

Recently, eatery owner and celebrity chef Guy Fieri told The New York Times the issues were resolved at the restaurant, which opened last November.

The situation has been resolved,” Fieri was recently quoted by The Times.

“And I think that, unfortunately, I don’t have enough (information) to tell you about it.”

But Nate Ridley, 46, of East Pittsburgh, who formerly worked as a line cook there, said the issues remain unresolved, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported last week.

Nothing’s been going on, nothing’s happened,” Ridley told the Tribune-Review.

In April, Ridley filed a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the controversy. He alleged racial discrimination, harassment, and workplace retaliation.

Ridley recounted how a manager yelled at a Black employee to lower the music and claimed the manager used a racial slur, the report said. That incident happened in January.

The N-Word Dispute

“The day it happened, he stood right in front of me and said the ‘n-word’ and never even said he was sorry,” Ridley was quoted in April by TribLive, a regional news site. “He said it as easily as if he was asking for a side of ranch.”

The Black workers conceded the music contained a racial slur. The manager used the same slur when talking about the music, KDKA further reported.

In addition, Ridley claims he was getting $13 an hour at the restaurant. But a white worker with less experience was earning $15 an hour, Ridley alleged.

Ridley left the restaurant and is now employed by a country club. Later this month, the EEOC will provide an update on the complaint, Ridley said.

Pay Disparity Allegation Denied

“The allegation that our compensation varies by race is simply false,” Tom Meinert, a spokesman for Live! Casino Pittsburgh and the restaurant, said earlier this year, WPXI, a local TV station, reported.

In April, the casino released a statement which said in part:

“Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar are proud of the jobs we have created in Westmoreland County, are committed to our Team Members, and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The allegation that our compensation varies by race is simply false.”