PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the filing of a class lawsuit against Ruby Tuesday, Inc. under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) on behalf of older job applicants who were denied hire due to ageism.
The EEOC alleges that since at least January 2005, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has refused to hire individuals who were in the ADEA’s protected class (age 40 or older) for restaurant positions at six of its locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The restaurants at issue are located in West Mifflin, Greensburg, Altoona, Du Bois, and Indiana, Pa., as well as Beachwood, Ohio. Additionally, the EEOC says the company failed to preserve employment records, including employment applications, as required by the ADEA and EEOC regulations.
“This case is another stark reminder that age discrimination remains a persistent problem in the 21st century workplace,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Corporate America should be well aware that it is unlawful for employers to refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against, older applicants and employees because of their age. The EEOC will fight forcefully to protect the right of older individuals to be free of age discrimination in the workplace.”
In its suit, the EEOC seeks injunctive relief -- including policies, procedures and training to prevent future workplace discrimination -- and lost wages and liquidated damages for individuals who were not hired because of age. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement(Civil Action No. 09-1330).
EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence, said, “Unfortunately, some companies still make hiring decisions based on factors such as age rather than on an individual’s years of proven experience and ability to do the job. The EEOC will not tolerate age discrimination in the workplace.”
According to its web site, “Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has Company-owned and/or franchise Ruby Tuesday brand restaurants in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and 13 foreign countries. As of June 2, 2009, the Company owned and operated 672 Ruby Tuesday restaurants, while domestic and international franchisees (including Hawaii) operated 173 and 56 restaurants, respectively.
In July 2009, the EEOC held a public hearing on age discrimination and barriers to the employment of older workers. Additional information about the hearing can be found on the EEOC’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/meetings/7-15-09/index.html.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.