A Long Island restaurant owner is accused of using homophobic slurs and assaulting an employee to the point that the server’s teeth were knocked out. And all this for the ‘crime’ of wearing the wrong shoes.
Michael Abenante is currently suing his former employer, Emilio Branchinelli over the alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of his previous boss.
The news broke earlier this week.
Gay waiter says boss punched him so hard he knocked his tooth out in violent homophobic attack – all because he wore the wrong shoes https://t.co/2xnVdJum2i
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) October 13, 2020
Abenante had been experiencing abuse since he was hired in 2017. But things came to a head over some shoes.
The incident took place last year, November 15, 2019. According to Abenante, Branchinelli noticed the server was wearing black converse, and ordered him to go get different shoes.
Abenante went on his break and returned in something he hoped would be more acceptable. However, when Branchinelli saw the new footwear, he flipped out and heavily criticized Abenante.
According to court documents, Branchinelli screamed:
“You look like a f’king h*mo mountain climber, are you f’king stupid? Finish the tables you have, take em off and go back to exchange you f’king moron, you and your c*nt mother both should’ve died when she pushed you out!”
This is unbelievably horrifying.
What is wrong with the world? Hate to be so blunt sometimes but there's such hateful scum out there it truly sickens me. Just let people live and love ffs https://t.co/kOtwmlmK4I
— Joseph (@jlarkin246) October 13, 2020
People really evil son https://t.co/XiUOkiGb8W
— Judy (@Hail_arii) October 12, 2020
America needs a heart transplant https://t.co/daOQS2NobB
— iamdallaslyn🏳️🌈 (@IamDallasLyn) October 14, 2020
— Irene Kaminsky,Ph.D. (@Kashinka) October 14, 2020
Abenante’s suit explains that Branchinelli then chased him from the restaurant, kicking him and punching him in the face. The punch knocked out a tooth.
All the while, Branchinelli was threatening to kill Abenante.
According to the lawsuit, Abenante had endured homophobic abuse during the entirety of his time at Emilio’s. Coworkers made homophobic comments and taunts, including slapping his backside and grabbing his penis.
Despite multiple complaints, management did nothing to alleviate these abuses.
Employees at NY pizzeria faced abuse from the owner. They are now suing the company.
— 🇺🇸b mcarthur🏳️🌈 (@bmcarthur17) October 13, 2020
long island is so racist and LAME. https://t.co/OHXVXgmrek
— . (@GimmeApenny) October 13, 2020
Because shouted homophobic slurs at a gay man while assaulting him?
— Frida (@fridabina) October 14, 2020
Of course. Because, well…Long Island 🙄🤬
— Patrick McKeon (@KlashNYC) October 12, 2020
Abenante is not the only former employee suing the restaurant. Sabrina Kozminsky is suing for sexual harassment and discrimination.
Kozminsky was hired June 2019 and suffered daily sexual harassment from the male employees, who told her they wanted to “put a baby inside” her, or straight up asking if she enjoyed anal intercourse.
Kozminsky and Abenante’s lawsuit is seeking damages, backpay and attorney fees.