The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued Seasons 52, a restaurant chain that is part of the Darden Restaurant Group (also the owners of Olive Garden and Red Lobster) for age discrimination.
A class of plaintiffs allege that the chain refused to hire prospective employees over the age of 40 during new restaurant opens. Older applicants were not to be hired for the “front of the house” or the “back of the house” positions (i.e. servers, bartenders, hosts, etc.).
Older applicants who were denied the position and told they were “too experienced” and the company was looking for “fresh” employees. Some applicants were even told that Seasons 52 “wasn’t looking for old white guys.”
This case originated in Miami but the class applies nationwide to applicants who felt they were discriminated against the hiring process. There are currently forty three Seasons 52 Restaurants throughout 18 states, 35 of which opened since 2010 and may be subject to this lawsuit.
Here is the full EEOC press release if you would like to read more or possibly get involved.