Wednesday, 13 June 2012 14:02
Watch out next time you enter a Sizzler restaurant.
Nearly two years ago, Liza Friedlander walked into a Sizzler in Queens, New York and the customer service wasn’t exactly what she expected: Friedlander was beat up by the restaurant’s manager, called a “he-she freak,” and hit by flying objects.
Now, after a legal battle with the restaurant chain, she has finally been awarded $25,000 in compensatory damages, according to Lambda Legal, an LGBT rights organization that helped Friedlander file the lawsuit against Sizzler.
The complaint stated that the defendants violated the New York City and State Civil and Human Rights Laws because Friedlander was “violently attacked and discriminated against in a place of public accommodation based on her actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex.”
Lambda goes on to describe in detail how the restaurant manager, Edgar Orellana, shoved Friedlander in the chest, causing her to fall backward, and kicked her while yelling for her to get out of the restaurant and calling her a “fucking dyke.” Then, a male diner yelled at her, called her a “he-she freak” and demanded that she leave the restaurant. Another man threw objects at Friedlander and threatened to take her outside and sexually assault her, saying he would show her “what a dick is.”
“I was attacked and threatened by people yelling terrible anti-LGBT slurs, throwing things at me and threatening to sexually assault me,” Friedlander said in a statement. “On that day, I felt helpless, humiliated and frightened, but today I’m so proud that I stood up and did something about it. No one should have to go through a nightmare like that.”