A former employee is suing Founders Brewing Company for racial discrimination and retaliation.
Tracy Evans was an events and promotions manager for Founders in Grand Rapids and Detroit. He was let go in 2018 after he said he tried repeatedly to have Human Resources intervene.
According to the lawsuit, “On information and belief, Plaintiff was the first and only minority manager at Founders. To Plaintiff’s dismay, his coworkers used racial slurs around him and with other employees. In fact, the company itself named its printers in a blatantly racist fashion. Plaintiff complained to HR throughout his employment, but his complaints fell upon deaf ears. It is Plaintiff’s belief that he received unequal treatment throughout his employment and was denied a promotion due to his race.”
Evans said he was treated this way at both locations and was eventually let go after trying to take a personal day to speak to Human Resources in Grand Rapids. He says he’s now filing the lawsuit to help others that still work there.
“We have to start speaking up and standing together when we should and can,” Evans said.
Founders denies those claims.
In a statement attorney for Founders, Patrick Edsenga said, “The allegations of unlawful conduct in Mr. Evans’ lawsuit are baseless. Founders is a company that is built on diversity and its culture is the result of a great mixture of people who treat each other with respect. Founders will vigorously defend itself against these claims and is confident that it will prevail.”