Peggy O’Neil’s Bar and Grille will pay $100,000 to settle a racial discrimination case that claimed the Boston establishment refused to serve black, Hispanic, and Cape Verdean customers, Boston.com reports.
It all started back in 2011, when O’Neil’s staff allegedly turned away customers of color because they did not “know the owner” and the bar “did not want any trouble.” All this happened while white patrons were allowed in, MassLive said. According to court filings, the group was denied access to the Dorchester dive bar multiple times during that year.
Unconvinced of the bar’s excuses for turning them down, the minority group filed a civil rights enforcement action against the establishment.
Per Massachusetts state law, it’s unlawful to “discriminate at place of public accommodation based on religion, creed, class, race, color, denomination, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, or because of deafness or blindness, or any physical or mental disability,” MassLive adds.
“Massachusetts businesses should not subject individuals to discrimination of any kind, including decisions that are based on prejudice or stereotypes,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley in a statement.
Bar owner Carol O’Neil previously denied the racial discrimination accusations. Peggy O’Neil’s Bar and Grille, established in 1963, serves a diverse customer base, she claims, and the group was thwarted from entering the bar because they were drunk.
Though the suit was scheduled to go to trial later this month, O’Neil and the litigants agreed to settle with $100,000.
According to the settlement’s terms, $80,000 will be given to the victims of discrimination and to compensate for attorney fees. The remaining $20,000 “will be held until the establishment complies with the terms of the judgement,” MassLive concludes.