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Former Virago Executive Chef Sues For Sexual Discrimination

The Nashville Business Journal reports that former Virago executive chef Jessica Benefield is suing restauranteur Chris Hyndman, along with his M Street Entertainment LLC and Virago LLC, for job discrimination. Benefield, who was terminated in June of this year after having served as executive chef at Virago since June of 2011, filed a harassment charge against her former employers shortly after being let go.

Here are some of the more choice allegations, pulled directly from the suit filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), from which she received the right to sue earlier this week.

39. At all relevant times, Defendants MStreet Entertainment Group, Virago, and Hyndman created and established a hostile work environment based on sex.
40. Virago at one point employed a manager named Oleg Bulut.
41. When Mr. Bulut would become angry with the female servers, he would grab them around the neck and choke them.
44. On a daily basis, Plaintiff was subjected to an environment that included Defendant Hyndman commenting on the attractiveness of employees and customers.
45. Such comments included using a scale to rank women based on their attractiveness.
46. Further comments included "she's far away hot, but not up-close hot," "she's unassuming hot," and "she's dirty 19-year old hot."
47. Defendant Hyndman consistently requested that the staff of Virago and Citizen Bar bring in "hot chicks" for him to meet and entertain.
48. On New Year's Eve 2012, there was an event at Virago where scantily clad dancers were hired to provide entertainment. Defendant Hyndman requested that one of the dancers be sent home because she was not attractive enough and was "fat."
49. On one occasion, Hyndman told one of his employee bar managers she would be hot if she "tightened it up a bit."
· M Street, Hyndman Sued by Former Virago Executive Chef [Nashville Business Journal]