discriminatory-work-practices , firm-news , news , wrongful-termination

Doyle Dennis Avery LLP Files Discrimination & Retaliation Lawsuit Against Burgers of Beaumont I, LTD D/B/A Whataburger

Doyle Dennis Avery LLP recently filed suit on behalf of a client against his former employer, Burgers of Beaumont I, LTD D/B/A Whataburger (“Whataburger”). The lawsuit was filed against Whataburger in the United States District Court Western District of Texas Austin Division. The lawsuit alleges that Whataburger discriminated and retaliated against its former Director of Operations for reporting sexual orientation discrimination and that Whataburger ultimately fired the Director of Operations because of their sexual orientation.  

The lawsuit alleges that Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client informed his supervisor, Joseph Ellis, that he was bisexual after the supervisor made offensive comments to him. The lawsuit alleges that the supervisor immediately responded angrily “Why did you tell me that?!” and showed visible anger including teeth grinding and seething. Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client became concerned and left the meeting. Once Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client left the location, Whataburger called Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client back and demanded that he return to the meeting despite the hostile conditions.   

The lawsuit alleges that after the meeting, Ellis accelerated the harassment and retaliation against Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client because of his sexual orientation.  Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client also reported the harassment and retaliatory conduct to the Whataburger Human Resources hotline. In response, the HR personnel ordered the client to not tell anyone he is bisexual because that is “personal information.”  The lawsuit alleges that this effectively ignored the prior complaints of harassment and did not show concern for the continued behavior.     

The next day after the report of sexual orientation discrimination to HR, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client was prohibited from using the phone provided to him by Whataburger for personal purposes. These punitive actions occurred even though when the client originally joined the company in 2012 and for the length of his employment had been instructed to use the phone for personal purposes as well because it was too difficult to manage two phones. The retaliation further increased in the ensuing weeks with access to company materials being slowly revoked. In September 2022, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client met with the owner, his supervisor, HR personnel and Whataburger’s legal counsel. In the meeting Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client was terminated due to alleged “restricting” of the company. In an attempt to silence Doyle Dennis Avery LLP’s client, the lawsuit alleges, the employer offered a monetary value in exchange for proffering a release of all claims against Whataburger.    

Doyle Dennis Avery LLP proudly fights on behalf of clients who suffer due to unfair treatment and harassment by their employer and its employees. Employers must respect the sexual orientation of all employees and provide a safe environment for all people to work. Our client was not afforded this protection in this case and our firm will now pursue justice on their behalf.

As part of our firm’s litigation practice, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP handles discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims on behalf of corporate executives, nurses, doctors and many other professions. If you believe you may be a victim of wrongful termination due to illegal discrimination, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today. Our firm will evaluate the matter and let you know if we might be able to assist in your pursuit of justice. Doyle Dennis Avery LLP Trial Lawyers is proud to support workers and fight to make work environments a better place for all.