The EEOC has filed suit against the Texas Roadhouse, claiming the national restaurant chain discriminates against older workers by denying them “front of the house” hourly positions, steering them instead into kitchen jobs or refusing to hire them.
There are 13 Texas Roadhouse restaurants in Illinois.
The lawsuit accuses the chain of engaging in a “pattern and practice” of discrimination against workers age 40 or older. The EEOC claims restaurant managers are instructed to hire younger workers for highly visible positions such as servers, hosts and bartenders.
The lawsuit notes that all pictures in the company’s employment and training manuals show young people and that the company emphasizes youth when training managers to hire.
The EEOC has documented cases in which hiring managers are alleged to have said to older applicants:
- “You seem older to be applying for this job.”
- “Do you think you would fit in?”
- “There are younger people here who can grow with the company.”
The suit seeks monetary damages for all injured applicants and changes to the chain’s hiring practices that would bring it into compliance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.