AP News

Race settlement OK'd with Panera stores in Pa.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal judge in Pittsburgh has told attorneys to advertise a class-action settlement in which an Ohio franchisee who runs several western Pennsylvania Panera Bread stores will pay more than $76,000 to settle discrimination claims by current and former black employees.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster has told attorneys for Guy Vines, the black worker who sued in January, and Covelli Enterprises, the Warren, Ohio franchisee, to advertise the settlement he preliminarily approved Monday in regional news outlets.

Vines sued claiming he was denied promotions and made to work in the kitchen because company owner Sam Covelli didn't want black employees in areas where the public was served. About 200 to 300 black workers may be entitled to money.

Covelli continues to deny wrongdoing, but is settling to avoid the costs of defending the case.


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