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Redline Sports Bar ordered to pay “$687,000 in damages after finding that she was the victim of discrimination”

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm 52 Comments


Thanks to all who sent links. The Washington Business Journal reported:

A jury has awarded a former employee of Chinatown’s Redline sports bar a total of $687,000 in damages after finding that she was the victim of discrimination.

Hardin said her termination was “part of a broader scheme of discriminatory exclusion perpetrated by Redline and Dadlani,” according to her lawsuit.“In pursuit of defendants’ vision of Redline as maintaining a white, homogeneous customer base, Redline and Dadlani implemented discriminatory policies that excluded African-Americans from working in visible positions and denied African-American customers equal access to the establishment.”

  • MartinLawrence

    Well the name of the bar makes a little more sense now.

    • d

      Can someone explain what that means? What am I missing?

      • Anon

        Look up “redlining” on Wikipedia.

        • d

          Oh wow thanks! I knew that was a practice but didn’t know there was a term for it. Now knowing that, why in the world would someone name a bar that? Hopefully they were just ignorant like me!

          • nevermindtheend

            They’re definitely ignorant.

          • The center line for a hockey rink is called the red line (because it’s red).

          • CHGal

            They’re also right next to the Metro Red Line.

      • anon

        google redlining and see how whites got access to federally backed mortgages post WWII–a massive government handout denied to black people.

        • Anonymous

          And the source of most inter-generational wealth for white families today, especially those whose families immigrated in the first half of the 20th century. Rugged individualism, my ass.

          • They’re called bootstraps

        • On Capital Heels


          Then let’s talk about how generations of housing policy and practice in this nation — from redlining to restrictive covenants to whites-only FHA loans to white flight to subprime lending to equally qualified black/brown borrowers — have brought us to where we are today: which is white folks so-called “gentrifying” the very pockets of poverty and devalued housing stock that their ancestors purposely created. It’s maddening. We need social justice reform in every single corner, block, city, town, county, and aspect of this country.

    • Anonymous

      I thought it was called Redline because it is on the Metro’s most used line.

  • nevermindtheend

    I don’t know whether I should be shocked or not that an establishment called Redline was systematically keeping blacks out.

    • Look at the url I used for this post!! :)

      • nevermindtheend

        Hah! That’s right up there with the url for the story about Graham the other day.

        • I’m glad someone caught that one too :)

          • I don’t really know what a url is, let alone how to notice one.

          • anon

            When you’re in the post, look in your address bar at what is after YEAR/Month/[post name]. You’ll see it.

          • Truxton Thomas

            Do you know what Google is? It offers more information on this case and what a URL is. You seem curious enough to be able to find more information about both for yourself.

  • anon

    Good. Wish she got more.

  • gabeyo

    Social justice Warriors attack their Yelp.

  • Smart move

    If the owners were smart, they should declare bankruptcy, reopen… Save a bunch of money!

    • anonymous

      Well, having all their equipment and furnishings sold at auction to pay their creditors (and likely having their lease terminated as well) would seem like a crimp in this otherwise clearly brilliant plan… Bankruptcy isn’t a “screw everyone and get out of jail free” card.

    • Anon

      When either 1) their liquor license and very expensive restaurant equipment are seized and auctioned off in order to satisfy creditors or 2) the owner is prosecuted for bankruptcy fraud since the he himself apparently was a defendant in the suit (in addition to the business itself) and in your scenario isn’t truly bankrupt, what would suggest then, counselor?

      • Anon

        If he reopens with a new, unsuspecting business name, maybe something along the lines of “Jimmy Crow” to keep with the preferred theme, nobody would notice.

  • Dan

    I am not surprised; racism is alive and well in Washington, D.C.

  • Really wish we could know more details. She was hired (as black) then fired (as black?) I’m hesitant to even bring this question up because everyone on this blog goes all righteous/crazy over any perceived injustice – but having worked in the restaurant & bar industry for 40 years I know there is a whole hell of a lot more involved.

    For one thing- a good looking woman of any color or non-white ethnicity has advantage over a less attractive white woman. Add more points for personality.

    • Anon

      I’m guessing the defendant used a similar line of reasoning in their defense. “Your honor, but she was total babe – why wouldn I fire her because of her race?”

    • Anon

      I’m guessing the defendant used a similar line of reasoning in their defense. “Your honor, but she was total babe – why would I fire her because of her race?”

    • Bull! The owner wanted All white supporters; he did not want anyone of his White supporters feeling”uncomfortable”. I own a restaurant, and I always tell folks be mindful where they eat. These practices happen more than we want to admit. I pay extreme attention where I go, especially, with all the open animosity I have noticed lately. I am a Proud Jamaican who refuse to force anyone to accept me.

      • I’m assuming this is Andrene of Andrene’s on Kennedy St – her food is delicious, everyone here should try it!

    • HaileUnlikely

      I’ve never been to, nor even heard of, this restaurant, and I don’t know any employees nor the owner, so I don’t know any more than I’ve read. Thus, I’m willing to let the actual judge be the judge and let the jury be the jury. From what I’ve read I don’t get the sense that the owner was poor, though – I’m thinking he could probably afford a legal team as least as good as that which represented the plaintiff, and he still lost, so my hunch is that she must have had a halfway decent case that included at least a wee bit of evidence beyond the readily observable facts that the plaintiff was black and the plaintiff was fired. I don’t know anything beyond what I read in that article, but that’s my hunch.

      • textdoc


      • artemis

        Also, the legal standard for proving a case of discrimination based on a protected class is a LOT more difficult than most people realize. When a case goes to trial and wins, to me at least, it usually indicated that the discriminatory behavior was pretty egregious.

        • Anonymous

          Artemis beat me to this comment. My wife is a employment discrimination attorney and most cases don’t result in an award or even a settlement. I think the City Paper or WBJ did an article with a link to the complaint last year.

          People already want to dismiss claims of racism. Then we have someone who gets an attorney, overcomes a defense and wins an award an someone still wants to find an explanation other than racism.

          • alkebulan

            Please, please, please explain this to Victoria.

    • Natedogg

      The Washingtonian has considerably more detail about the case including the fact that many former coworkers testified regarding the owners statements and behaviors towards blacks. It’s really abhorrent. http://www.washingtonian.com/2016/01/26/redline-sports-bar-discriminated-against-former-bartender-jury-says/

    • Lizabeth126

      Managers also hire. I’ve seen a manager hire someone who the “owner” did not find attractive enough and then fired for other reasons. I’m not surprised. (Restaurant biz 10+ years…)

      • HaileUnlikely

        Yes. I worked in a restaurant for several years in the distant past (in the kitchen, though – looks matter less there), and I had been working there for well over a month before I met or even saw the owner.

  • Looks/personality always trumps race/ethnicity. Uncomfortable, but true.

    • nevermindtheend

      The jury in this case seems to believe otherwise.

    • Petworther

      Wtf does this mean? Would an owner close a bar early to avoid serving ugly people?
      I have no idea what your problem is, but this is a well deserved verdict and people should know about it.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’m pretty sure she was referring to hiring and retention of front of house staff, and I’m pretty sure that on the whole she’s right (In all seriousness, how often do you walk into an upscale restaurant and get greeted by somebody who an unbiased third party would probably agree is hideously ugly?) However, in this specific case, other details in other articles besides the one posted here, and the fact that the bartender won her case, suggests that there were other factors at play here, like the owner being a raging racist.

    • navyard

      Maybe true, but the WashPost published a picture and she’s cute as a button. And if you’re the type to extend your hand first, then you’ve probably got the personality for the job as well.

  • anon

    Walked by it a million times. NEVER felt any desire to go in.

  • Makes Sense

    I am an AA female. I went there on a not especially busy Sunday afternoon, and it was like pulling teeth to get service when it seemed like everyone around us was being served. Now I know why. Never went back.

  • jdre

    This place is horrible, anyway, and I hope they go under. I went once because someone chose it randomly for an unofficial work happy hour — within seconds of walking in and seeing the Hooters atmosphere, we all felt sick and left.

    • I’ve gone for World Cup matches and alumni happy hours and never got the “Hooters atmosphere” you’re referring to. Sure, it’s a sports bar, but it’s not like the waitstaff is scantily clad at all. My only complaint was that the beer selection sucked, but that’s the case at most sports bars in DC.

  • MPinDC

    More details on this case can be seen in the complaint filed in DC district court – search “redline complaint scribd”, or use this: Case 1:11-cv-02052-RBW Document 28 Filed 10/09/12

  • kejad

    I always assumed the owner paid someone off to get zoning approval for that outdoor area. It juts way out into the sidewalk – chokes down pedestrian traffic around it. After reading about him, I’m even more suspicious that he’s shady.

  • pb1

    Much, much more detail on the allegations (but not defense) http://www.scribd.com/doc/288252314/Redline-Complaint#scribd


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