Founders Brewery employees participate in peaceful protest amid racial discrimination lawsuit

Lawsuit alleges co-workers used racial slurs

DETROIT – It was not your typical protest. There were no chants, no posters, not even marching.

Around 20 people including employees stood outside Founders Taproom for a peaceful protest.

"We are here also for us, the employees. We are a part of Detroit and Detroit is a part of us," Mario Cabrera said. 

It's a message Cabrera said he along with his co-workers wanted to deliver in light of negative attention toward Founders Taproom.

Local 4 first reported about Michigan's largest brewery not participating in Detroit's biggest beer event of the year due to a racial discrimination lawsuit. Founders Brewing Company confirms the taproom will not be a part of the Michigan Brewers Fall Beer Festival. 

On Saturday, we asked several employees including Cabrera about the lawsuit. "I'm not willing to speak on that, I'm sorry. I cannot. That's just something that I don't feel comfortable speaking on," Cabrera said. 

The lawsuit states that former employee Tracy Evans worked at Founders Taproom from 2014-2018 and was fired shortly after telling a supervisor he was planning to meet with human resources to discuss what he considered a racist work environment.

The lawsuit also alleges co-workers used racial slurs around Evans and the company called the printer that managers used the "White Guy Printer" while naming the printer that general employees used the "Black Guy Printer."  

Employees at the protest said Founders Taproom is a place for everyone. 

"I just hope that people are willing to support Founders and support us, because we love what we do," said Cabrera. 

Founders Taproom is closed, but will continue to pay their employees. 

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