Older men and women who are attempting to get back into the California workforce may find it difficult. In some cases, businesses may try to hire younger individuals even though this is against federal and state law. One woman found herself to be part of a lawsuit after she learned that she was overlooked for a position that went to a young woman who had no experience.
The woman, one of 55 individuals, were named as claimants in a lawsuit that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed against Texas Roadhouse. The EEOC argued that the restaurant chain discriminated against those who were over 40 by refusing to employ them in front-of-the-house positions. The company has denied the allegations and stated that the workers must be able to meet certain requirements, such as being able to work weeknights and weekends in addition to line dance. The company stated that many older workers could not meet these requirements.
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, companies are not allowed to discriminate based on age. This does not just include promotions and layoffs; companies cannot legally refuse to hire someone based on his or her age alone. In this particular case, the EEOC allegedly discovered that less than 2 percent of the front-of-the house staff are over the age of 40.
When the lawsuit goes to court in early 2017, there is a chance that businesses will be pressured to change their hiring practices should the EEOC win. In the meantime, workplace discrimination based on age, sex and race is still illegal. People who feel that they have been the victims of these types of illegal acts may want to discuss their options with an employment law attorney.