Kentucky-based restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse has reached a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a class of applicants claiming age discrimination.
The case was filed in 2011 and it accused Texas Roadhouse of widespread discrimination against workers 40 years and older. Older workers were generally not hired for front-of-house jobs like hosting, serving, and bartending. The restaurant management allegedly told older job applicants that younger employees were better suited for those front of house positions. Older employees were purportedly referred to as “old ‘n’ chubby.”
In addition to the $12 million monetary settlement, the parties also entered into a consent decree. A claims process must be set up to identify and compensate those individuals over 40 who applied for front-of-house positions during an eight year period. Over the next three and half years, there is an injunction to prevent Texas Roadhouse from discriminating on the basis of age; and the company must hire a diversity director and a decree compliance monitor to keep the chain on track. Texas Roadhouse must also increase its recruitment and hiring of over-40 individuals for front of the house positions.