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Texas Roadhouse accused of workplace discrimination due to age

| Sep 29, 2015 | Employment Disputes |

The Texas Roadhouse, which is known for line dancing and great food, is involved in a lawsuit claiming that the restaurant was engaged in unfair employment practices. A 40-year-old woman who applied to work at the roadhouse alleges that she was not given the opportunity for a job because of her age. The workplace discrimination lawsuit is now being brought to a federal court to include herself as well as 55 other individuals who feel that they were denied employment.

The plaintiff says that she applied to be a server and thought it would be a good fit because she had two years of previous restaurant experience. She claims she was told by a manager that he would follow up with her on her application. However, the plaintiff says that she never heard back and decided to reach out and find out the status of the application herself.

To her surprise, the plaintiff was told that the restaurant was not currently hiring, but she believes it was all a lie. Apparently her friend’s 19-year-old daughter was given a job even though she did not have any restaurant experience. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1.9 percent of workers who are in front-line positions, such as bartenders, servers and hosts, are over the age of 40. The national average in similar jobs is 21 percent.

The Texas Roadhouse maintains that servers must wear jeans, work nights and weekends and also perform line dancing. Additionally, it claims that its policies are appropriate because it reflects the demands of the position in conjunction with what the business needs. However, just because some workers may be older does not necessarily mean that they will not be able to perform the essential functions of the job. The workplace discrimination claim is scheduled for trial in January of 2017.

Source: bloomberg.com, “Texas Roadhouse Age Discrimination Lawsuit Could Affect Hiring Practices“, Patrick G Lee and Carol Hymowitz, Sept. 24, 2015

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