Ryans McGovern is alleging she was hired sight unseen for a $16-per-hour job as a pastry chef, but when she went into the restaurant for training, a manager said, “Oh, you’re a girl. I thought you were a guy.” McGovern claims she was let go two days later. She’s now seeking damages for loss of salary, emotional pain, and other charges; the full gender discrimination complaint is below.
A spokeswoman for ThinkFoodGroup, which owns Mercado Little Spain, says in a statement that “these claims are baseless and there was never any discrimination against Ms. McGovern, which any litigation will bear out.”
The Spanish food hall with dozens of stalls and restaurants opened in mid-March from celebrity chef José Andrés. Andrés is a food-world darling, known not only for his several Spanish restaurants across the United States but also for his humanitarian work feeding Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria in 2017, which led to a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
Mercado Little Spain has become a major dining attraction at the brand-new complex on Manhattan’s west side. Eater critics Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton found some of Hudson Yards’s best food there.