1. Inicio
  2. node
  3. EEOC Sues Hillstone for Age Discrimination
Press Release 04-15-2022

EEOC Sues Hillstone for Age Discrimination

Restaurant Refused to Hire Older Applicants at Its New York City Locations, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – Hillstone Restaurant Group, Inc. violated federal law by denying employment to applicants age 40 and over for front-of-house positions at its two New York City locations because of their age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

Hillstone Restaurant Group is a private, family-owned company which operates approximately 40 upscale restaurants across the country under various brand names, including Hillstone.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, despite a highly qualified pool of applicants 40 and older, Hillstone refused to hire those individuals for front-facing positions (servers, hosts/greeters, and bartenders) at its Midtown and Park Avenue South locations. Hillstone’s senior managers rejected qualified applicants because they were deemed “too old” or “not the demographic” Hillstone wanted to hire, instead favoring much younger – and much less qualified – applicants.

Such conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits employers from discriminating based on age. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-03108) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after the parties were unable to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the EEOC’s conciliation process.

The EEOC seeks back pay and liquidated damages for the applicants age 40 and over who were denied jobs because of their age. The EEOC also seeks strong injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent age discrimination in the future. The agency’s litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Renay Oliver and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.

“Unfortunately, the restaurant industry continues to be one where many employers openly dis­criminate based on age with respect to public-facing roles,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “The EEOC’s prosecution of this case will disabuse them of the notion that they may do so without consequences.”

Judy Keenan, district director of the New York District Office, added, “The EEOC stands ready to enforce the right of older applicants to be judged by their qualifications, not their age.”

For more information on age discrimination, please visit

The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for addressing discrimination charges and conducting agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.