Yesterday don’t matter when it’s gone?
It does to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The restaurant chain, Ruby Tuesday, Inc., named after the classic Rolling Stone song, has agreed to pay $575,000 to settle a class age discrimination lawsuit filed in federal court in Pennsylvania by the EEOC in 2009 against six of the chain’s restaurants. (EEOC v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., Civil Action No. 09-1330).
Perhaps more significantly, the consent decree signed by Ruby Tuesday contains an unusually detailed and comprehensive multi-year plan that requires Ruby Tuesday to recruit and hire older workers.
The EEOC lawsuit charged that Ruby Tuesday violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) by discriminating against job applicants who were 40 years of age or older at six of the chain’s restaurants located in West Mifflin, Greensburg, Altoona, Du Bois, and Indiana, Pa., and in Beachwood, Ohio.
Ruby Tuesday also allegedly failed to preserve employment records, including employment applications, as required by the ADEA and EEOC regulations.
The equitable relief outlined in the three-and-one-half year consent decree requires Ruby Tuesday to:
- Implement numerical goals for hiring and recruitment of job applicants age 40 and older at the affected locations;
- Review its job advertisements to make certain they do not violate the ADEA;
- Conduct audits, including random reviews of hiring decisions, to ensure non-discrimination and compliance with the consent decree;
- Evaluate the job performance of people with hiring authority for the six stores named in the consent decree and set their compensation (including bonuses), in part, based on their degree of success in helping Ruby Tuesday ensure that its recruitment and hiring practices provide equal employment opportunities for people who are 40 or older;
- Designate a decree compliance monitor for oversight of compliance with the requirements of the ADEA and the terms of the consent decree;
- Provide extensive training on the requirements of the ADEA and the consent decree to the decree compliance monitor, human resources personnel and hiring authorities of the six stores named in the consent decree; and
- Report to the EEOC and keep records about its hiring practices and compliance with the consent decree.
Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said “the extensive training and equitable measures are designed to improve recruitment and hiring of older workers and protect all applicants from age discrimination.”
According to its website, www.rubytuesday.com, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has nearly 800 company-owned and franchised restaurants and more than 40,000 corporate and franchise team members.
“Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain’t life unkind?
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday”