Former employees of Parlor Pizza say they were forced to work overtime without pay, under toxic working conditions. and that people of color were seated in the back of the restaurant in the so-called “rejection section,” according to a report by Block Club Chicago.
The restaurant with three Chicago locations is now under city investigation after Block Club Chicago first reported on the allegations from former workers. The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations are working on the investigation.
Block Club Chicago reporter Quinn Myers, who’s been following this story since first helping break news about the allegations, spoke with several former Parlor employees about the alleged working conditions. The former employees spoke about people of color being seated in less visible locations, sexual harassment, unpaid overtime and a culture of retaliation.
Parlor Pizza is now bringing on a chief diversity officer to work with staff, Maze Jackson, a former WVON morning radio host.
“We strongly push back against our company having racism, but what I will tell you is that we do recognize that sometimes things happen, so what we want to do is a self-examination,” Jackson said. “We want to check, make sure that our polices, processes and procedures are in place to ensure that nothing like this—if it ever was to happen—doesn’t happen again.”