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EEOC and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Sign Mediation Pact

Agreement Covers 449 Bagel Stores Nationwide

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:BAGL) today announced the signing of a National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution prior to an EEOC investigation or potential litigation. The NUAM applies to all company-owned Einstein Noah establishments throughout the United States.

"Nationwide mediation agreements like this are a classic win-win," said Nicholas Inzeo, Director of the EEOC's Office of Field Programs. "NUAMs are a non-adversarial and efficient way for companies to handle discrimination charges using the EEOC as a partner and advisor. EEOC mediation encourages a positive work environment, and the company saves time and money. Everyone benefits."

"As a company, we are committed to our employees," stated James Vitrano, Associate General Counsel and Vice President of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. "The EEOC's ADR Program assists us with this commitment by encouraging communication and fostering resolution, which enables us to continue to provide a positive workplace for our team members."

Under the terms of the NUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC in which Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is named as an employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC's mediation unit, as appropriate. The company will designate a corporate representative to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to facilitate a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.

Expanding mediation is a key component of the EEOC's efforts to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. The EEOC has entered into 259 national and regional Universal Agreements to Mediate (UAMs) with private sector employers, including several Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, EEOC district offices have entered into approximately 1,872 mediation agreements with employers at the local levels within their respective jurisdictions. Since the full implementation of the EEOC's National Mediation Program in April 1999, more than 148,000 charges of employment discrimination have been mediated, with over 70% being successfully resolved.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. operates locations primarily under the Einstein Bros. and Noah's New York Bagels® brands and primarily franchises locations under the Manhattan Bagel® brand. The company's retail system consists of approximately 773 company-owned and franchise restaurants in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The company's stock is traded under the symbol BAGL.

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment. Further information about the EEOC and its mediation program is available on its web site at