A former bartender was awarded $687,000 after jurors found that the owner of a Washington, D.C., bar violated her civil rights under federal and district anti-discrimination laws, the Washington Post reports.
Redline owner Mick Dadlani and his company were found to have racially discriminated against newly hired bartender Briggitta Hardin at the time of the bar’s grand opening back in December 2012.
Hardin, who is black, accused Dadlani of refusing to shake her hand or speak to her when they first met. Within an hour after that, she was fired, the Post reports.
During the seven-day trial held this month, several white former employees testified about the absence of black bartenders and Dadlani’s hiring preferences based on race, Hardin’s lead attorney, Megan Cacace, pointed out, according to the report.
“Witnesses testified at trial that he wanted to hire white blond chicks or girls” to bartend, Cacace said.
On Jan. 21, after two days of deliberations, the jury awarded Hardin $175,000 in compensatory damages and $510,000 in punitive damages under federal civil rights law, the Post notes. An additional $2,000 in punitive damages was awarded under the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act.
The lead attorney representing Dadlani and his bar, however, was not impressed with the decision.
“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,” lawyer Sundeep Hora said.
Read more at the Washington Post.