Razzoo's settles EEOC birthday suit

ADDISON Texas The 11-unit Razzoo's Cajun Cafe casual-dining chain has settled a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former employee who declined to sing birthday greetings to guests.

The suit arose after Sabrina Balentine, a Jehovah's Witness and employee at a Mesquite, Texas, unit in 2006, refused to participate in group tableside songs because her faith doesn't recognize birthdays.

Balentine, then 19, said she offered to do other activities when servers sang to customers, but she said she was fired. Razzoo's said she was not fired.

Razzoo's, which is privately held, settled for $38,750 and agreed to a two-year consent decree that includes the adoption of an anti-discrimination policy for religious accommodation.

Razzoo's has nine units in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as one each in Houston and Austin, Texas.