Maxwell Appley Sep. 14, 2015, 12:49pm


NEW ORLEANS – A movie theater is being sued by a former employee who alleges he was wrongfully terminated for racially motivated reasons.

Brian Alexander filed suit against Movie Tavern Theaters, LLC in the Orleans Parish District Court on July 1, 2015.

Alexander claims that on March 10, 2015, he was wrongly terminated from his position as kitchen manager at the defendant’s Covington location and that this termination was racially motivated.

The plaintiff alleges that his workplace became a hostile environment when a new executive kitchen manager was hired around February of 2014. The plaintiff alleges the new manager, Ignacio Reyes, used racial slurs to voice his disapproval of the African-American cooks. According to the plaintiff, Reyes felt that the African-American cooks did not want to work and that the kitchen needed more Hispanics.

The plaintiff alleges that Reyes knowingly hired illegal immigrants to work in the kitchen without legal identification or documentation. Alexander claims to have voiced his disapproval of this practice to Reyes and his General Manager and feels that he is protected as a whistleblower under the Louisiana Whistleblower Act.

Alexander claims that Reyes repeatedly tried to sabotage his reputation by making false reports about him to the upper management. Alexander claims that Reyes would sometimes over order food and blame Alexander when it needed to be sent back to the supplier at a loss. Alexander also claims Reyes would secretly send back food so that he could blame Alexander when the kitchen prematurely ran out of that food.

Alexander brought these allegations to the defendant’s HR Department and feels that they were insufficiently investigated and that the defendant failed to promptly remedy the situation. After the allegations were brought to the defendant HR manager, a new “Assistant Kitchen Manager” was hired by Reyes. Alexander claims that the new hire was intended to replace the plaintiff when he would later be fired for racially motivated reasons and/or retaliation for his whistleblower activities regarding the hiring of illegal immigrants.

The defendant is accused of violating the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Act when they failed to address the claims of racial harassment made to the plaintiff’s human resources manager and later terminating Alexander.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for lost earnings, pain and suffering, and all legal fees. Alexander also seeks to reclaim the position he would have occupied with the defendant were it not for the alleged mistreatment suffered.

Alexander is represented by attorney James L. Arruebarrena.

The case has been assigned to Judge Robin M. Giarrusso.

Case no. 2015-06309.

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