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Tennessee employees may be interested to learn that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled an age discrimination class action lawsuit against a national restaurant chain on May 2. The restaurant involved was Seasons 52, a Florida-based business that is part of the Darden family of restaurants, which also includes LongHorn Steakhouse and the Olive Garden.

According to the lawsuit, managers at 35 Seasons 52 locations across the country made discriminatory comments against older workers. Some comments included things like “Seasons 52 hires young people” and “Most of the workers are younger.” One manager reportedly even told the EEOC that the company did not employee “old white guys.”

The lawsuit included 254 plaintiffs. Of those, 135 applicants gave the EEOC sworn testimony regarding the discriminatory comments made by the company’s staff. The lawsuit was ultimately settled for $3 million, which will provide compensation to applicants who are over the age of 40. Additional applicants who were not involved in the lawsuit but who were discriminated against could also claim a part of the settlement.

Many applicants who are not hired are never given a reason. However, some may learn that they were not hired due to their age, gender or race based on comments made by the company or by the company’s hiring pattern. If a person is hired and experiences workplace discrimination, he or she may not be able to be as productive as possible or may never be promoted despite good work. An employment rights attorney may review evidence of potential discrimination to determine if the worker or applicant has a case against the employer. If there is a case, the attorney may work to prove discrimination occurred and to seek appropriate compensation.

Source: FOX News, “‘Old white guys’ weren’t hired, so restaurant chain to pay $3M in age bias settlement“, Gregg Re, May 4, 2018