In 1991, the Cracker Barrel restaurants enstated a company-wide policy against homosexuals. Many homosexual and suspected homosexuals were fired, regardless of job peformance.
Here's a quote from a memo to store managers:
"Cracker Barrel is founded upon a concept of traditional American values... It is consistent with our concept and values, and is perceived to be inconsistent with those of our customer base to continue to employ individuals... whose sexual preferences fail to demonstrate normal heterosexual values which have been the foundation of families in our society."
Officially, Cracker Barrel's president has made a press statement in which he said that this policy has been repealed; however, many maintain that unspoken discrimination lingers.
There's nothing stopping this from happening again.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other civil rights organizations periodically revise drafts of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to sumbit to the Senate. This would ensure homosexuals job protection similar to that of the rights given to minorities by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Cracker Barrel has also had a rocky past with the NAACP, African-American customers, and employees.
"According to the amended complaint, the restaurant's discriminatory conduct includes: denying service to African American customers and their associates; allowing white servers to refuse to serve African Americans; seating African American customers and their associates in a segregated area (often in the smoking section of the restaurant); and requiring African American customers and their associates to wait longer to be seated or served than white customers."
- NAACP press release
Also, Reuters recently
published a story that stated that the NAACP
joined another anti-Cracker Barrel lawsuit
. The complaints are a mix of the old and new. Apparently, Cracker Barrel
sat black customers in segregated
) and served them food from the garbage
A personal note: I've never visited a Cracker Barrel, despite living in an area with many nearby. I have eaten take-out from said establisment, twice, only to fall ill both times. The food wasn't even notable.
Besides, isn't a Cracker Barrel a cramped space filled with crackers?