Ruby Tuesday Settles Age Bias Suit

The EEOC recently held a hearing to discuss changes that could improve older worker employment.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. will pay $45,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Emp­loyment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

According to a lawsuit filed in May, the company’s Boca Raton, Florida, location declined to hire a qualified applicant with more than 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry for a general manager position at its 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.”

In addition to the $45,000 in monetary relief to Cardwell, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit requires Ruby Tuesday to identify a Diversity Director to manage the decree’s provisions re­quiring the reports of age discrimination complaints, nationwide oversight of the corporation’s age-friendly recruiting and hiring efforts, the education of its employees on an updated ADEA policy, and ADEA training for its hiring management team.

Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for the Miami District Office, says, “Ruby Tuesday listened to the agency’s concerns and participated in a resolution that seeks to ensure a work environment inclusive of older workers.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Equal Opportunity Employee Commission (EEOC) held a hearing, “The ADEA @ 50 – More Relevant Than Ever,” to discuss what works and what doesn’t.

The reason the ADEA is more relevant than ever is people are living longer and wanting to work longer. As witnesses pointed out, some employees want to keep working either for engagement reasons or financial reasons, and some want to retire from their current jobs to pursue ‘encore’ careers. All witnesses noted that age discrimination in employment is still ongoing.