Texas Roadhouse Accused of Refusing to Hire Older Workers

October 3, (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Texas Roadhouse, a national, Kentucky-based restaurant chain, has engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of age discrimination in hiring hourly, “front of the house” employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the EEOC alleged that since at least 2007, Texas Roadhouse has been discriminating against a class of applicants for “front of the house” and other public, visible positions, such as servers, hosts, and bartenders, by failing to hire them because of their age, 40 years and older. “The number of age discrimination charges filed with the EEOC has risen significantly over the years, which prompted the Commission to conduct a meeting on the subject last December,” said Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair of the EEOC, in the announcement.  

The EEOC alleged in addition that Texas Roadhouse instructed its managers to hire younger job applicants. For example, Texas Roadhouse emphasized youth when training managers about hiring employees for its restaurants. All of the images of employees in its training and employment manuals are of young people.   

The Commission also alleged that Texas Roadhouse’s hiring officials have told older unsuccessful applicants across the nation that “there are younger people here who can grow with the company;” “you seem older to be applying for this job,” and “do you think you would fit in?” Officials also said that the restaurant was “a younger set environment;” “we are looking for people on the younger side… but you have a lot of experience;” and “how do you feel about working with younger people?”