Former chef at Virago sues company for sexual discrimination

Former chef at Virago sues company for sexual discrimination (Image 1)

The former executive chef of the popular restaurant Virago is suing her former employer, claiming female workers were subjected to physical and verbal abuse.

According to the Tennessean, Jessica Benefield claims the company's CEO ranked female employees on their attractiveness, and that a manager choked female servers when he became angry.

The lawsuit also states women have complained about the manager before, but he was not disciplined.

Benefield was hired in 2010 as a food expediter and promoted to executive chef the following year.  She says her performance review noticed that she “excels” and was given a raise.

The newspaper said that despite her accolades and promotion, Benefield claims she was fired one day after reporting her concerns regarding the CEO's behavior to the company's human resources director in June.

The suit ultimately seeks unspecified damages for lost wages and suffering.

*The Tennessean contributed to this report.

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