Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein has filed a class action against McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. over the chain’s alleged practice of favoring whites for front-of-the restaurant jobs, such as serving, hosting or bartending.

According to the suit filed Thursday in California’s Northern District Court, minorities at the restaurant are, for the most part, hired to do low-paying menial jobs in which they do not interact with the public. Name plaintiffs in the suit include Berkeley, Calif., resident Juanita Wynne, an African-American whose server shifts were cut in half at the local Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley, and Oakland, Calif., resident Dante Byrd, who was rejected after he applied for a position as a bartender there.

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