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Former chef sues LSU sorority, claims food coordinator wanted a 'white chef'

4 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago Friday, April 28 2023 Apr 28, 2023 April 28, 2023 9:02 AM April 28, 2023 in News
Source: The Advocate
Photo via The Advocate

A federal lawsuit alleges that a ranking food worker said she would rather have a white chef during a large gathering at an LSU sorority house in 2021, according to The Advocate.

Bernardine Williams, a Black chef who was working in the sorority house at the time, claims her former manager, Suzette Say, created a hostile work environment after she complained to higher-ups.

The suit. filed in a Louisiana-based federal court, on April 12, alleges Williams was ultimate demoted. Say is the only individual named in the lawsuit, which also seeks damages from Delta Zeta Sigma’s national chapter as well as the housing corporation for the sorority’s Baton Rouge chapter.

Scott Huffstetler, a Baton Rouge attorney representing the local chapter and its sorority house, denied allegations the plaintiff made against Delta Zeta in the lawsuit.

"The organization intends to defend against Ms. Williams’ claims in the normal course of litigation and believes that once this matter is fully tried, whether through motions or at trial, the facts will show that Ms. Williams’ claims are unfounded," he said in a statement to The Advocate. "The organization would never discriminate against anyone based on any protected characteristics, including race or color. This is demonstrated by the organization’s anti-discrimination and diversity and inclusion initiatives and policies."

Williams was a certified dietician with 26 years in the food service industry, including 15 years as an executive chef.

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