Federal Law Protects Workers in New Jersey, New York, and Elsewhere from Unlawful Age Discrimination
Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday has agreed to settle a class-action age discrimination lawsuit for a total of $575,000. In EEOC v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., the nation's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accused at least six Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Pennsylvania and Ohio of engaging in discrimination against job applicants over age 40 in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). In addition, the restaurant chain allegedly failed to comply with provisions of the ADEA and EEOC regulations that require a business to maintain a copy of employment applications.
As part of the settlement, Ruby Tuesday must work to recruit and hire employees who are over age 40 at the six affected restaurant locations and ensure that all company job advertisements are created in accordance with ADEA requirements. The restaurant chain is also required to conduct regular audits to monitor each restaurant's compliance with the law and ensure that no future discrimination based upon a job applicant's or worker's age takes place. Additionally, Ruby Tuesday has agreed to evaluate managers and other individuals with hiring authority at the affected restaurants based upon his or her ability to recruit and hire older workers. The restaurant chain must also provide extensive training regarding ADEA compliance to a designated compliance monitor, human resources personnel, and anyone with hiring authority at the six restaurants. Finally, Ruby Tuesday agreed to maintain all records related to company hiring practices and provide regular written reports to the EEOC.
Older workers often bring greater experience and leadership skills to the workplace. Despite that aging is a fact of life, some employers choose to discriminate against employees who are over age 40. If a manager makes his or her hiring, compensation, promotion, termination, or other employment decisions based upon a worker's age, discrimination has occurred. As this case demonstrates, federal law protects workers who are over age 40 from age discrimination. In addition, employment laws in both New York and New Jersey provide discrimination protections for all adult workers or job candidates regardless of age.