A federal lawsuit filed earlier this month accuses the management at west Little Rock’s Twin Peaks of racial discrimination and harassment.
The June 4 suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas argues that the eatery created a “hostile work environment” for a 26-year-old employee and violated her rights guaranteed under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act.
It also accuses general manager Darren Paxton of subjecting her to "several acts that were unwelcome and sexual in nature” beginning in November and lasting through her termination in April. Assistant manager William Furlough harassed and bullied her during that time, the complaint states. Furlough and Paxton are named as defendants in addition to the restaurant.
The plaintiff, hired in October 2016 as a "Twin Peaks Girl," said the “degrading behavior” escalated and culminated in events that happened Jan. 29, which she reportedly described to Twin Peaks’ corporate offices and to police.
When the worker reported the inappropriate advances by customers to her supervisors, Furlough and Paxton, "did nothing," the suit states.
"Twin Peaks did nothing to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination from happening and did nothing to prevent it from continuing," the plaintiff's attorneys argued.
Attorneys for the 26-year-old — Victoria Leigh and Breean Walas — also said their client was given less favorable work conditions that resulted in more tips and customers for co-workers who had not filed complaints.
The employee was discriminated against because Furlough preferred workers that were "not white," the plaintiff argues.
He also later changed her schedule, "with the impetus of such schedule change being plaintiff's race and her refusal to smoke illegal drugs with him," according to the suit.
A discrimination charge was reportedly filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Feb. 23, and a right-to-sue letter was filed March 7.
On Feb. 26, the plaintiff filed a report with the Little Rock Police Department that details drug trafficking and prostitution at the Twin Peaks in Arkansas’ capital city, the lawsuit states.
The woman’s attorneys argue that their client has suffered physical and emotional damages, severe monetary damages and lost wages.
A request for comment from Twin Peaks' corporate office was not immediately returned Tuesday morning.