Olive Garden hostess resigns amid alleged discrimination, harassment


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- The attorney for Amira Donahue, the hostess at the center of a racial discrimination case involving Olive Garden, says Donahue has resigned from her position.

In a statement, attorney Brandon Danks says her decision was “made because she could no longer withstand her work environment.” According to Danks, the final straw happened Friday when Donahue overheard a coworker say “black people will do anything for money” and “I don’t like her.”

Donahue was the hostess on duty when a customer reportedly made several racist comments towards her and another African-American employee. Olive Garden is investigating the incident and the manager involved with the incident no longer works there.

The Evansville NAACP says they have not received a formal complaint but they are investigating the incident. Danks says he stands with Donahue and “fully supports her decision.”

Statement from Brandon Danks:

Today Amira made the decision to resign from her position as a host at Olive Garden. Her decision was made because she could no longer withstand her work environment.

After Amira spoke up about being discriminated against by an Olive Garden customer, she has been harassed by and retaliated against by her coworkers and superiors. Amira told her superiors about the harassment and retaliation by her coworkers, and Olive Garden failed to stop it from continuing. 

Amira did her best to overcome the adversity at Olive Garden, but her environment had become intolerable. The final straw happened yesterday evening when Amira overheard a coworker say, “black people will do anything for money” and “I don’t like her”. The coworker’s statement was said to another coworker during a discussion about Amira. 

We stand with Amira and fully support her decision. She has been strong in facing adversity and brave for exposing it. 

We will continue the fight for Amira and hold Olive Garden responsible for its treatment of employees. 

If there are any other employees harmed by Olive Garden’s or Darden restaurants’ employment practices or conditions, we are asking them to come forward now and stand with Amira.

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(This story was originally published on March 7, 2020.)

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