EEOC Charges Bayou City Wings with Age Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the Houston-based restaurant chain violated hiring laws by permitting intentional age discrimination in “front house” positions. 

Bayou City Wings, a Houston-based restaurant chain, is being accused by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with unlawfully engaging in a pattern or practice of intentional age discrimination in its hiring of host and wait staff.

EEOC’s lawsuit charges that since at least 2008, Bayou City Wings “has been discriminating against a class of applicants for ‘front of house’ positions, such as food servers and hosts, by failing to hire them because of their age.” The suit contends that the restaurant failed to adequately consider qualified applicants who were 40 years old and up.

Also, according to EEOC’s lawsuit, Bayou City Wings’ upper management instructed other managers not to recruit and hire older job seekers and disciplined and terminated a manager who refused to comply. The agency further charges that since at least 2008 to about November 2013, the company failed to preserve employment records, including the job applications of unsuccessful applicants, in violation of federal law. 

Age discrimination, as well as the failure to preserve proper job application records, violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the EEOC warns. EEOC filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. The commission says it first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In terms of damages, EEOC seeks, among other things, monetary relief for applicants denied employment because of their age; the adoption of policies and procedures to remedy and prevent age discrimination; and training on discrimination for all Bayou City Wings managers and human resources staff.