An Australian chef is suing the Belle Meade Country Club for discrimination based on his nationality.
According to the complaint, Richard Jones worked at the club for more than a year and claims the executive sous chef at the guarded country club repeatedly berated him. The lawsuit was moved from Davidson County Circuit Court to U.S. District Court on Thursday.
“On numerous occasions, the Executive Sous Chef made comments regarding Australia and its characteristics, such as its people being unrefined, undeveloped and that it is a backwards nation,” the complaint reads.
In addition, the executive sous chef, Jones’ supervisor, allegedly called Jones a “Fosters-swilling Aussie bastard,” among other demeaning names.
Jones also claims he was unlawfully fired from the club in 2010, a result of the treatment of the executive sous chef. The lawsuit asks for $150,000 in punitive damages for lost wages, and $150,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering.
Calls to both attorneys in the case were not returned on Friday afternoon.
In December 2011, Belle Meade Country Club was deemed to practice “invidious discrimination” by a federal judicial panel after they reprimanded a Nashville judge for belonging to the club. The club restricts women memberships and only has one African-American member, according to a Nashville Scene article.