WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has reached a civil rights settlement with the nationwide Denny's restaurant chain, which has been hit with dozens of allegations of bias against blacks, according to a department official.
Details of the settlement were not immediately available, according to the official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity.
CBS reported that Flagstar Cos., the parent company of Denny's, will settle the lawsuits by paying $45 million and hiring an outside monitor to check on its civil rights policies.
The network did not provide the source for the report, saying only that it had learned the terms of the settlement between the Justice Department and Flagstar Cos. The settlement is to be formally announced today.
Flagstar spokeswoman Karen Randall, reached at the company's headquarters in Spartanburg, S.C., declined to confirm or deny the report. But she said the company's chairman and chief executive, Jerome J. Richardson, would appear at a news conference in Washington today concerning "discrimination lawsuit settlements."
A group of black plaintiffs in San Francisco and a group of six black Secret Service officers in Maryland sued the company last spring over incidents at restaurants at about the same time that the Justice Department announced a previous civil rights settlement with Denny's.
As part of the original agreement, signed March 26, 1993, Denny's promised to retrain its staff and hire a civil rights monitor.
Denny's, one of the best-known national restaurant chains, has since hired a minority-owned advertising firm to create a campaign aimed at black patrons who may have been alienated by the claims.