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Former restaurant cook gets $56,000 after firing for racist display complaint

Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A former restaurant in western Wisconsin has been ordered to pay $56,000 to a cook who got fired for complaining about a racist display.

According to federal officials, Sparx Restaurant fired Dion Miller after he complained about a dollar bill with a noose around George Washington's neck -- accompanied by drawings a of hooded Ku Klux Klan supporter.

Last September, a jury found that Sparx retaliated against Miller by firing him -- and he was awarded $15,000 for emotional distress. Last week, Federal Judge Barbara Crabb of Madison awarded back pay and interest to Miller of over $41,000.

Sparx Restaurant has since closed, and a Denny's later opened on the site with new owners.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission included the new owners in the lawsuit -- which a court had later upheld. The EEOC announced the penalties Wednesday in a news release.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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