So Cal Restaurant Denied Server Positions to Men, Federal Agency Charged
SAN DIEGO - Burgers & Beer, a Southern California food chain based in El Centro, Calif., has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC's lawsuit charged Burgers & Beer with disqualifying male applicants and employees from server positions based solely on their sex. The EEOC contends that this practice, which has been ongoing since 2015, led to an almost all-female server workforce.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex with regard to hiring and/or promotions. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Case No.: 3:18-cv-02014-DMS-JLB) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the suit, which remains under the court's jurisdiction during the decree's term, includes injunctive relief aimed at preventing further workplace sex discrimination. Burgers & Beer has agreed to review and revise its job descriptions for all positions, as well as create and implement a recruitment plan that increases the pool of male applicants. The company will endeavor to meet a hiring and retention rate of men into server positions. The restaurant chain has also agreed to review and revise its policies and procedures on discrimination and provide training to all employees on federal anti-discrimination laws with an emphasis on sex discrimination. Finally, Burgers & Beer is required to keep records necessary to demonstrate its compliance with this decree.
"The EEOC commends Burgers & Beer for agreeing to meaningful and comprehensive measures to correct this situation," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County. "There is never any justification for denying jobs to an entire gender of people. The measures put in place by Burgers & Beer should prevent further discrimination in that workplace."
Christopher Green, director of the EEOC's San Diego's local office, said, "Supposed customer preference is no excuse for discriminatory behavior. Employers should take heed of this resolution and review their practices to ensure they are compliant with federal law."
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, gender, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.