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Panera Bread owner, former manager settle lawsuit

A former manager at a Panera Bread in Mt. Lebanon has settled his federal discrimination claim against the franchise owner, according to court records.

Scott Donatelli of Scott claimed in the lawsuit that Covelli Enterprises of Warren, Ohio, fired him from the Galleria mall store because he has degenerative arthritis and refused to relegate minority employees to working in jobs that kept them out of public view.

Two other former employees also have filed discrimination lawsuits against Covelli. One is a class-action lawsuit on behalf of current and former black employees. The other is by a former assistant manager who claims the company fired her because it prefers to employ younger women. Covelli has denied the allegations in all the lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry today ordered the Donatelli case closed, based on a court-appointed mediator's report that a settlement has been reached. The mediator's report doesn't provide any details on the agreement.

Sam Cordes, the attorney for Donatelli, and company spokesman Allen Ryan couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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