Waffle houses and other food establishments in Alabama and Mississippi have sued to keep their businesses from going out of business.
The Mississippi-based owners of a restaurant in the state sued on Wednesday to keep the business going after the Alabama-based owner decided to close his eatery.
The lawsuit filed in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee claims the owners of the Waffle Houses in those states did not get enough help from the federal government to keep businesses afloat.
Waffle House owner James “Chip” Pemberton was the victim of a federal lawsuit filed by his business and a group of Alabama restaurant owners in February.
The federal government has charged Pemberts business, WaffleHouse, and other owners of businesses in Alabama with violating federal laws that ban discrimination against people based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disability.
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued Pembertons owners and businesses for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Older Americans Act, among other statutes.
In the complaint filed in the U.P.U.E. court in Birmingham, Alabama, the plaintiffs argue that the state of Alabama has no laws that protect them from being discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, religion or disability under federal law.
Pemberton said in a statement Wednesday that the lawsuit is just the latest attempt by the state to shut down businesses in order to preserve its tax revenues.
He said the state’s decision to sue his business is unconstitutional and that he will defend the suit vigorously.