Just a year and a half after fast-food chain Five Guys Burgers & Fries entered the Nashville market, its local franchisee is in something of a pickle.
Three former employees have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Nashville 5G Holdings LLC, owner Bill McKechnie and restaurant manager John Isaac. In their complaint, filed in Nashville's federal court last week and available at this link , Teaira King, Timothy Wilson, and Broderick Porter-Baugh allege that they were subjected to mistreatment on the job because they are African-American.
The ex-workers say their bosses engaged in "racially offensive, inappropriate and unlawful actions, including repeated racially derogatory comments, threats and other mistreatment.
King in particular claims that what the defendants did to her was "so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to be beyond the pale of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society."
The lawsuit does not go into detail about any of the alleged episodes of racial mistreatment. It seeks an unspecified amount in lost earnings and compensatory and punitive damages.
Nashville attorneys Steve Grace and Douglas Janney brought the case on behalf of the three former employees.
Attempts to reach each of the defendants in recent days have been unsuccessful. A spokesperson in the corporate office of Five Guys did not return a call seeking contact information for the defendants.
Five Guys opened its first local restaurant at the Hill Center at Green Hills late in 2007. It has since opened others at 2020 West End Ave., in Brentwood and in Murfreesboro. The chain, based in Virginia, makes its hamburgers from meat that has never been frozen, offering a wide variety of toppings.
President Barack Obama made news in March with an unannounced burger run  to a Five Guys in Washington, D.C.