Sam’s club is suing a baker in Atlantic City, New Jersey, who says he’s discriminated against his gay employees by refusing to bake cakes for them.
The owner of the popular restaurant chain, Sam’s, is suing the bakery’s owner, John Schmitt, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New Jersey for allegedly discriminating against transgender employees.
“The Plaintiffs allege that John Schmit, who has been in business for over 35 years, has refused to bake a cake for Sam’s,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.N. District court in New Jersey on Friday.
Schmitt has refused the service of gay employees because he believes they are not welcome at the business, the lawsuit said.
Sam’s, founded in 1913, has a large gay following in New York and Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court accuses Schmitt of “discrimination and unlawful retaliation” for his refusal to bake Sam’s Pride Pride cakes.”SCHMIT has discriminated against Plaintiffs on the basis of their sexual orientation,” according the lawsuit.
“SCHMITT has also engaged in unlawful retaliation by requiring them to create cakes for him that violate Sam’s anti-discrimination policies and by requiring Sam’s employees to wear Sam’s branded merchandise at Sam’s events.”
Sam’s Pride has been one of the largest gay and lesbian clubs in New England.
The club has been on the decline in recent years, losing more than half its members and being forced to close several times.
The club was the subject of a nationwide boycott in April.
The New Jersey-based Sam’s owner has denied discrimination, saying he was just following orders from his boss, who was gay.
The suit also alleges that Sam’s “customer service team, which consists of a team of 20 people, has been forced to do work that does not meet the standards set forth by Sam’s policy, in order to provide the goods and services to Sam’s customers.”
Sam is the owner of two Sam’s clubs in Atlantic County, New York, the first, in New Castle, New Castle County, and the second, in Atlantic Town, in Brooklyn.