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Age Discrimination in Hiring Practices-- EEOC Sues Ruby Tuesday

October 26, 2009

As California Labor and Employment Lawyers, we have been following the The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) recent class action lawsuit against the Maryland-based restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday--for violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, (ADEA) in the restaurant's hiring practices.

The EEOC, who enforces the federal laws prohibiting age discrimination, filed the employment lawsuit on behalf of job applicants who were 40 years and older, who allege that since January of 2005, Ruby Tuesday refused to hire them for many job positions as hosts/hostesses, wait-staff, bartenders, cooks, and dishwashers because of their age. The suit also claims that the restaurant managers were "directly or implicitly" instructed not to hire job applicants that were over the age of 40.

The suit was filed in Pennsylvania federal court, after failing to reach a voluntary settlement with the restaurant chain, and names Ruby Tuesday restaurant locations from across Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. The suit also accuses Ruby Tuesday of neglecting to preserve employment records as well as employment applications for hiring-- as required by EEOC and ADEA regulations.

The EEOC is seeking to recover lost wages and liquidated damages for applicants who were refused work because of age discrimination. The lawsuit also asks that Ruby Tuesday prevent future workplace discrimination by implementing new policies, procedures, and training to staff.

Debra Lawrence, Acting Regional Attorney for the EEOC said that it is clear from this case that some companies still hire employees unlawfully based on factors such as age, rather than ability and years of proven experience.

Stuart Ishimaru, Acting EEOC Chairman, stated in an EEOC Age Discrimination hearing in July, that workers over 40 many be susceptible to an unlawful age bias in the workplace, with stereotyping and discrimination that underestimate the very contributions these workers are giving to the organizations. Ishimaru also claimed that as a result, older workers may be disproportionately chosen for layoffs during rocky financial climates. Evidence suggests that those older workers who lose their jobs may have a more difficult time finding new employment than younger colleagues.

In a recent post, our Anaheim-based Employment Lawyers discussed the recent Age Discrimination Legislation introduced by three top Congressional Democrats, aimed to challenge a recent Supreme Court decision and help employees who have experienced age discrimination in the workplace enforce their rights. The legislation, announced earlier this month, challenges the Supreme Court's ruling from June, where employees must prove that age was the deciding factor in employment decisions. This legislation, called The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, would help restore the law to what it was before the ruling, where all older workers in the United States can again experience full protections and rights under the law.

Ishimaru claimed that the EEOC will continue to fight aggressively to prevent age discrimination in the workplace, and protect the lawful rights of older workers in this country.

If you or someone you know in Orange County and throughout Southern California, has been discriminated against because of age, contact Howard Law, PC today to schedule a free consultation about your employment rights.

EEOC Sues Ruby Tuesday, Knoxville News Sentinel, October 3, 2009

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Sued by EEOC For Age Bias Against Class of Older Applicants in PA. and Ohio, EEOC Press Release, September 30, 2009

Ruby Tuesday Sued for Age Discrimination, Justice News Flash, October 6, 2009

EEOC Hearing Highlights "Devastating Impact" of Age Discrimination Panelists Urge Regulatory and Legislative Action, EEOC Press Release, July 15, 2009

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

Facts About Age Discrimination, (EEOC)