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Major food service firm faces lawsuit for discrimination: ‘Not here to appease the old white man’

Courtney Rogers, a former employee of Compass Group USA Inc., a food service giant based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is suing the corporation for discrimination and wrongful termination after she was fired for refusing to take part in a diversity program, termed “Operation Equity.”

This program, which she viewed as discriminating against white male employees, compelled Rogers to file a lawsuit with the assistance of the Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm.

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Compass Group USA: Serving diversity in the food service industry

Compass Group USA Inc., with a headcount exceeding 280,000 employees and 2019 revenue of $20.1 billion, has a strong California presence and serves prominent clients, including Dodgers Stadium, San Francisco International Airport, Uber, Snapchat, Netflix, Disney Studios, and NBC Universal.

Known for its commitment to diversity, the company has been featured on Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity list from 2018 to 2022. Its parent company, Compass Group PLC, headquartered in the U.K., garnered revenue of $32.2 billion in 2019.

Rogers files lawsuit for ‘wrongful’ dismissal

Rogers, whose job was managing internal promotions, was recruited in August 2021.

However, she was let go in November 2022 for allegedly not performing her duties. The lawsuit was filed on July 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

‘Operation Equity’ discriminates against white male employees

“Operation Equity,” launched in March 2022, was designed to offer exceptional training, mentorship, and promotion opportunities to eligible employees, yet white males were excluded from these benefits.

The program’s misleading title conceals its discriminatory nature, argues the legal complaint.

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Rogers fired for expressing concerns over ‘operation equity’

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Rogers alleges that when she expressed her concerns to the management about the program’s legality and potential exclusion of white men, she was told, “This is the direction the world is going, jump on the train or get run over,” and “We are not here to appease the old white man.”

Despite assurance from management that she would be exempted from the program and that there would be no retaliation for her concerns, Rogers was fired.

Rogers takes legal action for religious discrimination, unlawful termination

Rogers is seeking relief for religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Her attorney, Robert Weisenburger of LiMandri and Jonna and special counsel at the Thomas More Society, explained her Christian beliefs that “everyone is created equal” prevented her from being part of “Operation Equity.”

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Rogers demands compensation, calls for corporate accountability

He emphasized, “Not only was she trying to do the right thing by standing up to this, but she was also trying to protect Compass Group because Compass Group was doing something illegal.”

Rogers is demanding financial compensation for discrimination and retaliation. She also calls for a court order mandating the company’s senior HR management to attend Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Treatment training to prevent similar occurrences.


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