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Ruby Tuesday to settle EEOC class action age discrimination lawsuit


The Ruby Tuesday Inc. restaurant chain has agreed to pay $575,000 to settle a class action age discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Maryville, Tenn.-based chain and franchisor denied the charges and said it settled the 2009 lawsuit to reduce disruption to its business.

The EEOC said in a statement Monday that Ruby Tuesday had discriminated against job applicants who were 40 or older at five Pennsylvania and one Ohio restaurant in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1965.

The agency said the company also failed to preserve employment records, including employment applications, as required by the ADEA and EEOC regulations.

In addition to paying $575,000 in monetary relief, the three-and-a half year consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides that the company implement numerical goals for hiring and recruitment job applicants age 40 and older, and review its job advertisements to make certain they do not violate the ADEA's prohibitions against age discrimination, among other provisions, the EEOC said in its statement.


Philadelphia regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in the statement: “We are pleased that Ruby Tuesday worked with us to craft a comprehensive settlement that will benefit all employees and applicants. In addition to the monetary compensation for the class members, the extensive training and equitable measures are designed to improve recruitment and hiring of older workers and protect all applicants from age discrimination."

Ruby Tuesday said in a statement that three of the six restaurants are now closed. It said it “strives to ensure that all those who apply for employment with the company are treated with dignity and respect. In addition, team members are selected and trained to meet high standards while management is dedicated to helping each team member achieve his or her full potential.

“In this spirit, Ruby Tuesday has agreed to resolve” the lawsuit, the statement said. It said it “has always strongly denied, and continues to strongly deny” the age discrimination charges. “However, the company has decided to settle the lawsuit without conceding liability to reduce the disruption to daily business and avoid the cost of protracted litigation,” said the statement.

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