Two Nashville restaurants, bars and restaurants owners are facing federal and state lawsuits after a federal jury in February found the restaurants and bars had violated federal and local laws and violated their employees’ constitutional rights, including their First Amendment rights to free speech.
The trial of attorneys representing the plaintiffs is scheduled to resume on March 13.
The cases include a $2 million federal class-action lawsuit filed in March by a group of employees who say they were forced to work without pay for two months in 2015 after their bosses pressured them to perform unpaid work.
The suit alleged the owners retaliated against employees who spoke out against them for making fun of the owners’ race.
The suit was filed on behalf of five employees at the restaurants, including a former bartender who was fired for complaining about racial discrimination and retaliation.
The lawsuit alleged the employees had to endure physical and psychological abuse, and said they suffered a loss of income and were financially crippled.
The lawsuit was settled in March after the plaintiffs agreed to settle with the owners.
The attorneys representing them say they have not yet decided whether to accept the settlement.
The owners of the restaurants also settled the lawsuit for $1 million, which they say is a non-refundable portion of the judgment.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.