My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Wisconsin
Hi, I've been working at this restaurant for a year and half now. It usually takes 2-4 month for a host / busboy to be promoted to a server / waiter here, but I feel as if my General Manager purposely not wanting me to be promoted. I know that promoting is not based off how long you worked for. However, my General Manager has given me so many excuses and even lied to me from time to time. But I think he crossed the line when I asked why can't I be a server, he told me that my English was not good enough. Of course I disagreed with him, but I wasn't going to argue with him. I've been here in US for 12 years and have completed high school (12th grade English.) I've also went through two interview from this company as well as completed 100 question on my personality / judgement. Do I have a case for discrimination on not promoting here?
Extended story here (pretty much the full story, because I really want to know whether I have a case or not): I admit being a bad worker in the beginning (2-3 month), I had a low score on my work evaluation. After a talk with the manager, I did not want to get fired and did my best to perform my job as best as I could. I even did work outside of my area and help out co-worker whenever I can to show that I can be a outstanding worker. Eventually for doing "well" at hosting, I was promoted to a trainer. I've let my managers know that I've always wanted to be a server, servers have to do more work but their wage is a lot more than hosting. (At this company, we don't get wage increase regardless of how long we have worked) However I felt like I was constantly lied to and was brushed off with excuses. There will be times they told me the wait staffs are full, yet they'd hire a waiter/waitress a week later. They also have told me, to promote me to become a server they'll have to get new hosts (when we were short on host). But these new host would become server 1-2 month and I remained the same position. My General Manager also told me things such as, he have to talk to his supervisor (Which I knew this is a lie, orporate can't possibly know how well I'm doing as a worker because they are never around. I know the General Manager is in control of promotions etc.) This has gone on over and over for a year, I only stayed because I was under the impression that I would be promoted soon. My General Manager have told me things like, I know we hired few server, but we haven't forgotten about you, don't give up.
After a year of waiting, I did give up and tried to look for another job. My landlord saw my situation and offered me a referral to work the company he works at. Around the same time, I told another manager (not G.M) that I'm looking for a job somewhere else and complained about why this restaurant won't make me a server. She told me that I "keep secrets", she doesn't like that. She said when there are problems with other employees, I need to tell her. she's afraid that If I become a waiter, and made a mistake I'd keep that from her. I told her that the only reason I kept it a secret is because I didn't want to seem like a person that tells on another (there are terrible things server say such as "don't seat me black people"). Afterwards she said she know I'm a good person and we did resolve this problem. She said my General Manager still have issue with me on "English"? or something but somehow she was able to persuade him to let me take Server training. However because my landlord referred me to the new job, I couldn't leave it and had to change my restaurant work schedules to accommodate the new job. Because of the new schedule, the restaurant decide it's not worth training me if I'm only working few shift a week. Unfortunately despite being hired and scheduled to work for that company, one of the manager called and apologize saying they over hired for the season.
Back again at the restaurant, I explained the situation and wanted to be a server again. I told them the only reason I left was because I thought they wouldn't give me a chance to serve. The manager whom I talked to previously tells me to talk to the General Manager when I ask her about being a server. Of course the General Manager still telling me the same excuses he's been telling me since I was working here.
It's kind of complex, but I wanted to share every little detail so that I know whether to take action or not.. I know for sure that the General Manager had the power to promote whoever he want. Lastly, I'd say pretty much all my co-worker supports me becoming a waiter and all other manager are fine with me. I was a like-able person and I've always helped out. I would be suing my General Manager for discriminating me at work, I've been a good employee (good rating, did my jobs and rarely call in sick or ask days off).