Ending Discrimination at “America’s Diner”

Denny’s Restaurant is known as “America’s diner.” But in the early 1990s, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee exposed rampant discrimination against African American patrons at Denny’s restaurants. Black patrons were denied seating, required to pay first, or made to sit in the back of the restaurant. We put scores of lawyers and paralegals to work and talked to hundreds of customers and former employees to establish a large class action lawsuit against the company. In 1994, Denny’s agreed to pay $17 million and implement significant changes in their business practices. At the time, it was the largest public accommodations class action settlement ever.

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