Human Resources News & Insights

A positive program gets a $100K kick in the face

This is how a good idea can turn out badly.  

Seems that restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday posted an internal announcement within a nine-state region (Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, and Utah) for temporary summer positions. The jobs came with company-provided housing and the chance for higher-than-usual earnings, apparently because the restaurants were located in resort areas.

The problem: The announcement stated that only females would be considered, purportedly because of concerns about housing employees of both genders together. Ruby Tuesday only hired women to fill the openings.

And that blew up in the company’s face when two males were denied jobs as servers in the chain’s property in the busy resort town of Park City, Utah. The pair complained to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Now Ruby Tuesday will pay $100,000 and implement preventative measures to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC.

The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation resolution through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree resolving the suit, Ruby Tuesday will pay employees Andrew Herrera and Joshua Bell a total of $100,000 and take steps to prevent future sex discrimination.

The company will provide training to all of its managers and employees on Title VII and job assignments in the nine-state area covered by the EEOC’s lawsuit for the duration of the three-year decree.  This includes an estimated 1,600 managers and employees at 49 different locations.

Ruby Tuesday will also report its training efforts to the EEOC, and post reminders of this resolution on its website and at its restaurants.

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