The Cuba Libre restaurant in Penn Quarter has agreed to institute civil rights training for employees and pay a $7,000 fine following an incident in June in which two staff members attempted to prevent a transgender woman from using the ladies bathroom.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced today that his office had reached a settlement with the Washington location of the chain following an investigation that found Cuba Libre DC violated the city’s Human Rights Act by discriminating against Charlotte Clymer’s gender identity and failing to educate its employees on customers’ rights.
In a document signed by Racine and Cuba Libre co-owner Barry Gutin, the restaurant agrees to:
- Create and maintain written compliance policies regarding gender identity rights.
- Implement and maintain a training program regarding customers’ rights.
- Post signage that states all individuals are allowed to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identities.
- Report any complaints regarding the Human Rights Act to the attorney general’s office for the next two years.
- Pay a $7,000 penalty to the city.
Days after Clymer’s story of the discrimination she suffered at Cuba Libre made headlines, Gutin issued a public apology and pledged to make a contribution to an LGBTQ support group, Casa Ruby.
According to city’s investigation referenced in the settlement, Cuba Libre has fired the employees involved, already instituted many of the changes it has agreed to make, and entered into a separate settlement with Clymer that included a charitable donation to a non-profit.
In a statement following Racine’s announcement, Gutin says Cuba Libre wants to “ help ensure safety for D.C.’s transgender community at all area restaurants.” Along those lines, Cuba Lubre will bring in Casa Ruby founder Ruby Corado to conduct a workshop on understanding the transgender community and complying with D.C. regulations.
Cuba Libre will open the workshop to D.C. area restaurant owners and managers on Monday, January 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Interested parties can RSVP here.
Included in Racine’s announcement was a statement that his office has introduced a piece of legislation amending the Human Rights Act to clarify that the office has the “independent ability” to bring civil action against parties who violate the HRA in addition to collaborating with the city’s Office of Human Rights.
This post has been updated to include Cuba Libre’s statement following the settlement.
Cuba Libre settlement by on Scribd