EEOC: Restaurant Closed Jobs to Older Workers

Seasons 52, a national restaurant chain and one of the Darden restaurant brands, put out the unwelcome mat when it came to job opportunities for persons over age 40, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in an Age Discrimination in Employment Act  lawsuit filed last Thursday.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the restaurant refused to consider older persons for jobs in the front or back of the restaurant when opening new restaurants, including as hosts, servers and bartenders. (That pretty much leaves just jobs in the kitchen).

Older, unsuccessful applicants across the nation were given varying explanations for their failure to be hired, including “too experienced,” the restaurant’s desire for a youthful image, looking for “fresh” employees, and telling applicants that Seasons 52 “wasn’t looking for old white guys,” the EEOC charged.

Ouch! Unless the restaurant chain has a real good explanation for why it shunned older applicants, it had better find terms satisfactory to the EEOC to settle this case. If those comments really were made, they constitute what’s known as direct evidence of age discrimination, a difficult finding to rebut persuasively.

Read more about the case.

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