Restaurant chain ordered to pay massive settlement for refusing to hire ‘old white guys’

Despite the fact that we are now living in 2018, a lot of subsections of society still face discrimination on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s based on ethnicity, sex or a host of other issues, the world is still struggling to become an accepting and welcoming place. However, while “Old White Guys” may seem like to be at the crux of this refusal to accept others, it turns out that they are also being discriminated in some industries.

Now, I hear you, I really do. It’s hard to feel sympathy for Old White Guys, right? I mean, at the end of the day, look around you; the majority of people in control of society are Old White Guys. The president? Check. The world’s media? Check. Your boss? More than likely check. So why should we feel sorry for them?

Well, as it turns out, the Seasons 52 chain has landed itself in some hot water after research showed that the company refuses to hire staff based on their age. The chain prides itself on its “seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness,” and it turns out that this notion applies to their staff as well.

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the restaurant discriminated against job applicants who were over the age of 40. As a result of their discrimination, Seasons 52 has been ordered to pay $2.85 million in order to settle an age discrimination lawsuit by the EEOC.

The lawsuit was filed back in 2015 on behalf of Anthony Scornavacca and Hugo Alfaro, who were 52 and 42, respectively, at the time they’d been denied employment at Seasons 52.

The EEOC then contacted thousands of people who were over 40-years-old when they applied for jobs at Seasons 52 and eventually found 254 applicants who “claimed they were treated with bias.” On top of this, it’s been reported that these discriminatory hiring practices occurred at more than 30 locations and date back to 2010.

“Defendants’ hiring officials have told unsuccessful applicants in the protected age group that: ‘you are too experienced’; ‘we are looking for people with less experience’; ‘we are not looking for old white guys’; ‘we are looking for “fresh” employees’; and that Seasons 52 wanted a ‘youthful’ image’, the EEOC’s complaint said.

Darden Restaurants, the company that owns and operates Season 52, has denied the claims but has still required to pay the sum. The company has also been ordered to put its hiring managers through training courses on “non-discriminatory recruiting, interviewing and hiring.”

“When an employer shuns an employee simply because of age, everyone loses. The employer loses experience, wisdom and institutional memory. The employee, of course, loses his or her livelihood,” Robert E. Weisberg, an EEOC district regional attorney, said. “In this case, with a class of discrimination victims nationwide, that’s a lot of loss for everyone.”

Despite having to fork out $2.85 million, Darden has said that they are “pleased to resolve” the lawsuit. According to the EEOC, the settlement will be distributed across the 254 people who faced the discrimination, as well as others “expected to come forward.”

I guess the story to take from this is, don’t mess with Old White Guys. If there’s one section of society that has the power and influence to get what they want, it’s them.

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