Ruby Tuesday to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
International restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday, Inc., will pay $100,000 and implement preventative measures to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The federal agency charged that Ruby Tuesday denied two male employees the opportunity to work as servers in the busy resort town of Park City, Utah in the summer of 2013. According to the EEOC's suit, Ruby Tuesday posted an internal announcement within a nine-state region for temporary summer positions with company-provided housing and the chance for greater earnings (Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, and Utah). However, the announcement stated that only females would be considered, purportedly because of concerns about housing employees of both genders together. Ruby Tuesday only selected women for those summer jobs, therefore blocking two male employees from transferring to the resort.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from giving more advantageous terms and conditions of employment to one group of individuals based on gender. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., Case No. 6:15-cv-00109-MC) in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon after a neutral investigation led by EEOC Investigator Richard Hernandez and only 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.
"Ruby Tuesday will take affirmative steps to make sure its managers do not make gender-based employment decisions again, even if it only involves temporary summer assignments," said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. "All managers and employees should know that making personnel decisions based on an employee's sex is rarely permitted under federal law."
Seattle Field Office Director Nancy Sienko explained, "We hope that all employees of Ruby Tuesday will have the chance to work in Park City should the company have that need again, and that the company explores other ways to address genuine privacy concerns of temporary workers when it provides housing."
Ruby Tuesday is a publicly traded company operating over 800 restaurants nationally and in 15 different foreign countries, with an estimated 34,000 employees. In 2013, the company reported gross revenue of $1.251 billion.