Think twice before you turn down “the old white guy”

“Old white guys”, the EEOC has your back: Seasons 52 restaurants have agreed to settle a class action age bias case to the tune of $3M.   According to its press release, the EEOC is particularly focused on age discrimination:

“Although ageism is among the most common forms of employment discrimination, applicants who are turned down rarely know the reason why,” EEOC Trial Attorney Kristen Foslid said in a statement. “When an employer has a trend of rejecting older applicants, the EEOC will respond aggressively to combat age stereotypes.”

As part of the agreement, Seasons 52 will be required to hold training for its hiring personnel and will be subject to outside monitoring for three years.

Seasons 52 may have gotten lucky since, according to the EEOC, there was direct evidence of discrimination in the form of comments such as “Seasons 52 girls are younger and fresh,” “Most of the workers are younger,” “Seasons 52 hires young people,” or “We are really looking for someone younger.”  The EEOC also commissioned a statistical study which showed the restaurant chain hired disproportionately less workers over the age of 40.

The moral of this story?  If you’re an employer, don’t be so distracted by the #metoo movement that you take your eyes off the “old white guys.”  Big Brother may not be watching, but the EEOC sure is.

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