Compass Group sued over alleged racial discrimination

PHILADELPHIA A group of current and former employees filed a lawsuit Monday against contract feeder Compass Group PLC alleging racial discrimination at Comcast Center, one of the company’s foodservice management accounts, based here.

In the lawsuit, which seeks $200 million in damages, 11 workers allege that they were subjected to racial slurs, required to remain out of sight during catered events at Comcast and denied promotions and other opportunities to advance their careers.

Aspokeswoman for Compass, Cheryl Queen, said in a statement that the company has not yet reviewed the lawsuit and could not comment on specific allegations. “However, we dispute the assertions made by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and we intend to vigorously defend the company,” she said in an e-mail to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Queen added: “Compass Group has clear and strong policies that embrace diversity, inclusion and respect in the workplace and prohibit any sort of behavior that is contrary to these values.”

The lawsuit names as defendants London-based Compass; two of its divisions, Compass Group North America and Flik International Corp.; and a manager and the executive chef at Comcast Center.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say they plan to seek class-action status for the lawsuit.