Restaurant chain pays settlement in class action lawsuit

Some Arizona residents may be eligible to claim part of a settlement paid by a national restaurant chain in a class action lawsuit. Seasons 52 was accused of age discrimination because of rejecting applicants who were older than 40. In addition, in sworn testimony to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, more than 100 applicants reported comments from managers that made reference to the fact that they hired young people. One manager told the EEOC that the company could not hire older white men.

The settlement will compensate applicants older than 40 who were discriminated against. There will also be a claims process that will allow other applicants not yet identified who were affected to take part in the settlement. The incidents occurred at more than 30 locations nationwide, and so far, more than 250 applicants are involved. Seasons 52 will also be required to change its hiring process. A compliance monitor will be brought on to ensure that the agreement is enforced.

In a statement, the EEOC said it would continue to fight against age discrimination. Employees would only be allowed to use age as a criteria if it were an essential element of the job.

It is illegal to discriminate against people who are 40 and older in the workplace, and this includes not promoting people or terminating them because of their age. Age discrimination can be difficult to prove because an employer may try to make it appear as though there were other reasons for the action. Therefore, it is important for the person dealing with the discrimination to document it. If many people are affected, as in this case, it may become a class action lawsuit.

Source: FOX News, "'Old white guys' weren't hired, so restaurant chain to pay $3M in age bias settlement", Gregg Re, May 4, 2018

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