Race-Based Hiring Discrimination Claims Will Go Forward
CHICAGO - A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a claim of racial discrimination in hiring against Rosebud Restaurants, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
In its complaint, the EEOC charged that the Chicago-area Italian restaurant chain violated federal civil rights laws by refusing to hire African-Americans because of their race. The company's motion to dismiss argued that the EEOC's complaint should be dismissed because it did not identify the victims of the alleged hiring discrimination.
In its April 7, 2015 decision, the court rejected that argument, concluding that the EEOC's "allegations of intentional discrimination are sufficient to state a claim for Title VII relief . . . even in the absence of the identification of an individual job applicant who was rejected because of his race."
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago (EEOC v. Rosebud Restaurants, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 13-cv-6656), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit, on which pre-trial work will now proceed, is assigned to U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood.
Acting District Director for the EEOC in Chicago, Julianne Bowman, said "One of the priorities of EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan is combating systemic discrimination in hiring on the basis of race. This case may be seen as part of that effort, and we are pleased that it remains on track toward a judicial resolution of the allegations of our complaint."
"The EEOC's complaint alleges claims of widespread race discrimination. Those kinds of claims are a priority for us," said Chicago Regional Attorney John Hendrickson. "The denial of Rosebud's motion to dismiss means that EEOC now is going to have the opportunity to put them to the test and, if we are successful, to obtain changes in hiring practices, as well as specific relief for the victims of any found discrimination."
In December 2012, the EEOC adopted its Strategic Enforcement Plan, which sets forth the agency's priorities for combating employment discrimination, and includes eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring.
The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.