Boston deli’s owners used to rate female customers’ looks, lawsuit says


(JTA) — A former employee of Mamaleh’s Delicatessen, a Boston-area deli popular with Jewish diners, is suing its managers for sexual harassment and making racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.

The suit, filed in October by Duane Gorey, alleges that owners Alon Munzer and Tyler Sundet, along with former head chef Matt Cohen, had a numerical rating system for female customers and would comment on their bodies, according to the publication Eater. Their guide included a rating of “99J= Very attractive Jewish woman,” as well as for other ethnic groups.

The suit also alleges that Sundet and Cohen made inappropriate comments to employees, including Gorey. Other former employees have corroborated parts of the complaint.

Gorey worked for R.J. Hart LLC, the restaurant group that owns Mamaleh’s, for nearly a decade until February 2018. His lawsuit has four counts, according to Eater: sexual harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, race discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

R.J. Hart issued a statement denying the allegations and saying the employee who offended Gorey was fired.

“Mr. Gorey was a valued, long-time employee of Mamaleh’s, and we always treated him with dignity and respect,” the statement says. “When he made a complaint concerning his work environment, we took swift action, conducting an investigation that resulted in the termination of the employee whose statement had offended him.”

Mamaleh’s, in Cambridge, is a kosher-style eatery featuring such Jewish staples as matzah ball soup and potato latkes.

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