Muslim Man Sues Tastykake, Says Former Boss Called Him a Terrorist

Lafayette Jenkins made the allegation in a just-filed federal lawsuit.

Tasty Baking Company headquarters in Southwest Philadelphia (image via Google Maps)

Tasty Baking Company headquarters in Southwest Philadelphia (image via Google Maps)

Usually, the biggest controversy to come up surrounding Philadelphia’s Tasty Baking Company (aka Tastykake) is whether Krimpets are really better than Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes. But now a former Tastykake employees has filed a federal lawsuit against the century old manufacturer, claiming he was discriminated against because he is a black Muslim.

Lafayette Jenkins of the Olney section of Philadelphia filed the lawsuit on Friday, alleging that his direct supervisor called him a terrorist twice.

Jenkins claims that the first incident occurred in the Tastykake employee break room in December 2010 or January 2011, about four years after he was hired as an order picker. Jenkins says that it happened again a week or so later and alleges that the supervisor used similar language against another Muslim employee as well. Prior to these two incidents, Jenkins says that the supervisor used discriminatory language against him and his religion in an email to another supervisor.

According to the lawsuit, Jenkins went to the Tastykake human resources department in October 2011 to complain about his boss. After a monthlong investigation, he says he was told there was no evidence to substantiate his claims.

Then in January 2013, a new shift opened up at the Tastykake plant. In the lawsuit, Jenkins alleges that white employees were given preferential treatment in the shift assignments, and he says he complained again to human resources but that nothing was done. And in August 2013, Jenkins says that a white employee drew a line on the factory floor, insisting that blacks stay on one side of it. Jenkins maintains that the employee was fired, and he submitted yet another complaint to human resources about the work environment.

Finally, says Jenkins, Tastykake fired him in October 2013. In the lawsuit, Jenkins states that Tastykake told him he was fired due to his aggressive and threatening behavior towards coworkers and an inappropriate gesture they said he made to a woman at Tastykake. Jenkins says none of that alleged behavior is true.

The lawsuit accuses Tastykake of both racial and religious discrimination as well as retaliating against Jenkins for filing his complaints. He is seeking unspecified damages.

Tastykake did not immediately respond to our request for a comment.

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