A restaurant owner in Long Island allegedly beat and hurled homophobic abuse at a gay employee, according to a federal lawsuit.
Michael Abenante, who was a server at Emilio's Pizzeria in Commack, New York, has filed the federal lawsuit against owner Emilio Branchinelli.
He claims the dispute began when Branchinelli noticed he was wearing black Converse trainers.
Abenante claims Branchinelli beat him and knocked his tooth out in front of co-workers and yelled: "F**king faggot, I’ll murder you."
The incident is said to have taken place on 15 November 2019.
The complaint was filed in Brooklyn federal court last Friday, reports the New York Post.
"Find another f**king job"
Attorney John Luke Jr. wrote in the complaint that the restaurateur told Abenante to buy new shoes on his lunchbreak or "find another f**king job", reports the publication.
After the employee returned with new shoes, he was allegedly told: "You look like a f**king homo mountain climber, are you f**king stupid? [...] You and your c*** mother both should’ve died when she pushed you out!”
Abenante, who started working at the restaurant in 2017, claims he was then chased out of the building and punched in the back.
Abenante also claims he was subjected to harassment and discrimination throughout his employment; he says kitchen staff called him a "culero" (a Spanish anti-gay slur).
He is joined in his lawsuit by waitress Sabrina Kozminsky, who claims she was the victim of discrimination and sexual harassment.
They are suing for punitive and non-punitive damages. They allege civil rights violations and discrimination; Abenante has also alleged civil battery.
Attitude has approached Emilio Branchinelli and Emilio's Pizzeria for comment.