Boca Raton Restaurant Refuses to Hire a Qualified Applicant Because It Wanted to ‘Maximize Longevity,’ Federal Agency Charges
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Ruby Tuesday, Inc., a national casual dining restaurant chain, violated federal law by refusing to hire a qualified applicant at its Boca Raton, Fla., location because of his age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, the company declined to hire a qualified applicant with over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry for a general manager position at its Boca Raton restaurant. In response to an inquiry by the applicant as to why Ruby Tuesday declined to hire him, the company informed him it was seeking a candidate who could “maximize longevity.”
Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit against Ruby Tuesday, Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division (EEOC v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-21817) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks injunctive relief and compensatory and liquidated damages.
“In the South Florida area, we represent the interests of many different people,” said Michael Farrell, director of the EEOC’s Miami District Office. “Age cannot be a factor in whether or not someone can earn a living.”
Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for the Miami District Office, added, “The ADEA was put in place precisely to protect people against this type of conduct. The bustling hospitality industry needs to be reflective of all of the members of our community.”
One of the six priorities in the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021 is to eliminate barriers in recruitment and hiring. The Miami District Office’s jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.