Discrimination lawsuit filed against Ruby Tuesday
January 30, 2015
A lawsuit has been filed against Ruby Tuesday for alleged discrimination surrounding a 2013 job posting for positions at the restaurant chain’s Park City location.
According to a press release from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ruby Tuesday is alleged in the lawsuit to have discriminated against men when it posted an internal job announcement in the spring of 2013 for temporary summer positions in Park City. The posting allegedly stated that only women would be considered and only women were, in fact, hired for the jobs.
The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court in Oregon.
When contacted, the Park City Ruby Tuesday location in question, at 6585 N. Landmark Drive, referred The Park Record to the chain’s corporate office, which is located in Tennessee. The corporate office did not respond to multiple calls for comment.
The release states that Ruby Tuesday restricted the job posting to women due to fears about employees of different genders living together in employer-provided housing. The EEOC alleges that Andrew Herrera, an Oregon man who has worked for the restaurant chain since 2005, and at least one other man wanted the job but were not considered due to their gender.
"Mr. Herrera was a longtime employee of Ruby Tuesday who had regularly trained new hires at the Corvallis restaurant," said Nancy Sienko, EEOC field office director, in the release. "He was shocked and angered that Ruby Tuesday would categorically exclude him and other male employees from a lucrative summer assignment based purely on stereotypes about his gender. The company could have addressed any real privacy concerns by providing separate housing units for each gender in Park City, but chose an unlawful option instead."
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The lawsuit has been filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from giving more advantageous employment conditions to a group of individuals based on gender, according to the press release. The EEOC first tried to reach a pre-litigation settlement with Ruby Tuesday before taking the case to trial.
Damien Lee, a senior trial attorney for the EEOC, told The Park Record a trial date will not be set until after motions for summary judgment are completed, a process that can take more than a year in cases like these.
"I think our complaint is very clear, and I think the evidence will be very clear," he said. "It’s going to be up to the judge and eventually possibly a jury down the road."
The EEOC is seeking backpay with remedies for the alleged victims it is representing. Additionally, it is seeking compensatory and punitive damages — each up to $300,000 per alleged victim — as well as injunctive relief that would include training Ruby Tuesday on anti-discrimination laws.
"It’s rare to see an explicit example of sex discrimination like Ruby Tuesday’s internal job announcement," said William R. Tamayo, EEOC San Francisco regional attorney, in the release. "This suit is a cautionary tale to employers that sex-based employment decisions are rarely justified, and are not consistent with good business judgment."