Boca Raton Restaurant Refused to Hire an Older Applicant Because It Wanted to 'Maximize Longevity,' Federal Agency Charged
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Ruby Tuesday, Inc., a Georgia corporation doing business in South Florida, will pay $45,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged that Ruby Tuesday violated federal law when it declined to hire Floyd Cardwell, a qualified applicant with over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, for a general manager position at its Boca Raton 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."
Age discrimination violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit against Ruby Tuesday, Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division (EEOC v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60970-BB) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
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.
"The ADEA will mark its 50th Anniversary in December of this year," said Michael Farrell, director of the EEOC's Miami District Office. "At this stage in our nation's history, employers should be well aware that discrimination against qualified job applicants because of their age is a violation of federal law. Employers must remain vigilant in their efforts to make hiring decisions based on qualifications and not myths, fears or stereotypes associated with applicants over 40."
Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for the Miami District Office, added, "Ruby Tuesday listened to the agency's concerns and participated in a resolution that seeks to ensure a work environment inclusive of older workers."
One of the six priorities in the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021 is to eliminate barriers in recruitment and hiring.
The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.