Seasons 52, a national restaurant chain and one of the Darden restaurant brands, engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of age discrimination in hiring hourly employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed in Miami federal court.
The EEOC’s lawsuit alleges that since at least 2010, Seasons 52 has been discriminating against a class of applicants for both “front of the house” and “back of the house” positions, such as servers, hosts and bartenders, by failing to hire them because of their age (40 years and older) when opening new restaurants.
According to the lawsuit, various Seasons 52 management hiring officials would travel to new restaurant openings to oversee their staffing. Older, unsuccessful applicants across the nation were given varying explanations for their failure to be hired, including “too experienced,” the restaurant’s desire for a youthful image, looking for “fresh” employees, and telling applicants that Seasons 52 “wasn’t looking for old white guys.”