The Associated Press reports that the suit claims Lawry’s has continued a policy that dates back to 1938 of using only women servers. The EEOC alleges that men are only given opportunities for lower-paying jobs such as busing tables.
Lawry’s waitresses can earn from $25,000 to $56,000 a year depending on tips while busboys and others typically earn about 40% less, EEOC attorney Anna Park said in a statement, according to the AP. She also said the suit could involve several thousand people. The EEOC is seeking class-action status.
Lawry’s said it “denies the merit” of the suit and was disappointed by the legal action, which followed two years of negotiations with the commission.
The California-based company
owns prime rib restaurants in Beverly Hills, Chicago,
Dallas, Las Vegas, Jakarta and Singapore. It also owns
the Tam O’Shanter Inn in Los Angeles, the Five Crowns in
Corona del Mar and The Carvery in Costa Mesa.