The EEOC first sued Texas Roadhouse in 2011, alleging that only 1.9% of the company’s front of the house employees, which are hosts, bartenders and servers, were above age 40. The EEOC’s original lawsuit did not name any victims of the alleged practice, but claimed Texas Roadhouse instructed its managers to hire younger job applicants. The restaurant chain is denying all allegations of misconduct.
Representatives of the restaurant state that because of the requirements of these jobs, which include line-dancing and working part-time on nights and weekends, there are very few applicants over the age of 40.
Texas Roadhouse has now sued the EEOC, claiming the agency violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by failing to produce documents requested by the company. Texas Roadhouse claims a right to certain information, including the EEOC’s media statements about the case and information regarding the initial investigation. It also seeks to find out how much tax money has been spent litigating the case against the restaurant, which is still pending in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. Texas Roadhouse has sent the EEOC three FOIA requests and has not received a single response.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. Both employees and job applicants are protected by the ADEA. The law protects from discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, job assignments, pay, job assignments, layoffs, promotions, layoff, training, and so on. ADEA also makes it unlawful to harass a person because of his or her age, which includes making offensive remarks about a person’s age.