Restaurant Manager Accused of Rejecting “Too Old” Job Candidates

The EEOC has filed an age bias suit against a Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen.

Coatesville Chicken, LLC, doing business as Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, will pay $36,000 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a federal age discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.

According to the suit, the restaurant engaged in age discrimination when it refused to hire military veteran Lula Wright-Hill, then 54, Leroy Keasley, then 40, and Kevin Bryant, then 58 and also a veteran, for various positions. Each completed an application that required them to reveal their dates of birth. In addition, the EEOC alleged that during Wright-Hill’s and Keasley’s interviews, the general manager asked them how old they were and told them that they were “too old” to work for the restaurant.

“How sad that this employer disadvantaged three applicants, including two military veterans, because of their age,” says EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. “EEOC is here to fight for Americans’ rights to be free from age discrimination.”

In addition to the $36,000 in monetary relief, which represents full back pay with liquidated damages, to Wright-Hill, Keasley and Bryant, the consent decree settling the suit enjoins Coatesville Chicken from engaging in age discrimination or retaliation in the future. Pursuant to the decree, the restaurant has revised its job application to no longer require applicants to state their age or date of birth. Coatesville Chicken will implement and disseminate an anti-discrimination policy and provide training on federal anti-discrimination laws to all managers and employees who receive job applications.

EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence adds, “We appreciate that Coatesville Chicken worked with us to resolve the matter without engaging in protracted litigation.”