Last month, Texas Roadhouse, a national restaurant chain, was ordered to pay $12 million to settle an employment discrimination case filed by the United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC alleged that the restaurant chain violated federal law by adapting a nationwide pattern of age discrimination when hiring hourly employees to work front-of-the-house, such as hosts, servers, and bartenders. According to the EEOC, Texas Roadhouse discriminated against applicants over the age of 40 by refusing to hire them for these positions.
In addition to the $12 million in monetary relief, the restaurant chain has also been ordered to change its hiring and recruiting practices under the terms of the settlement.
Generally, age discrimination refers to any unfavorable treatment of an employee or job candidate who is over 40 years old. There are both federal protections for older employees in the workplace and individual state laws that prohibit discrimination based on age, such as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Although this legislation is meant to hold companies accountable for discriminatory behavior, the fact remains that thousands of employees older than 40 still face age discrimination on regular basis.
What Qualifies as Age Discrimination?
Generally, age discrimination involves older employees who are:
- Laid off, fired or forced to quit due to age
- Overlooked for promotion or opportunities for advancement due to age
- Passed over for employment due to age
Age discrimination is commonly proven by demonstrating that younger employees or applicants with similar qualifications or experience were treated more favorably. For example, in the case against Texas Roadhouse, there was evidence that the restaurant made it a “standard operating procedure” to reject older applicants for customer-facing/”front-of-the-house” jobs in favor of younger applicants. Similarly, in cases of layoffs, discrimination can be shown by statistical evidence that older employees are being terminated in disproportionate numbers, by evidence that the terminated older employees were replaced by someone younger, and by evidence that specific individual younger employees retained their jobs despite worse job performance.
Age Discrimination Attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP
The attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP advocate on behalf of employees in Los Angeles and San Bernardino who have faced employment discrimination, including individuals who have suffered discrimination in the workplace due to age. Whether you have been denied a position as a result of your age, are facing reduced opportunities in the workplace, or have been let go from your job, you can discuss your potential case with our attorneys.
We invite you to call our office to schedule a free preliminary consultation. You can contact the legal team at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP by calling (310) 575-2550.