The popular Southern California Burgers & Beer restaurant chain faces a sex discrimination lawsuit alleging that they are in violation of California employment law by maintaining a mostly female server workforce. The suit was filed in San Diego by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Allegedly, Burgers & Beer violated federal employment law by denying male applicants the same employment consideration they offered females applicants.
The Southern California restaurant chain has routinely rejected male applicants and employees seeking server positions since 2015 – based simply on their sex. According to the EEOC, Burgers & Beer maintains a server workforce that consists of approximately 90% female servers. This violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination based on sex.
According to its website, Burgers & Beer has six restaurant locations: Temecula, Yuma, El Centro, etc. The lawsuit against the restaurant chain was filed only after the EEOC attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through a conciliation process. The EEOC now seeks injunctive relief prohibiting the chain from unlawful discrimination based on the basis of sex in the future. They also seek compensatory and punitive damages for the victims of the sex-discrimination.
The EEOC, reflecting on the case, stated that the denial of an applicant of even the opportunity to compete for a job based strictly on their gender is a violation of federal law – even if the employer is working off the assumption or the knowledge that their patrons would prefer to be surrounded by servers who are limited to one sex or the other. They further clarified their position by stating that presumed preferences are not an excuse for discrimination of any kind and that the EEOC would continue to pursue employers exhibiting this type of discriminatory hiring practice.
If you are concerned about discrimination in the workplace or if you have been the victim of discrimination during the hiring process, please get in touch with one of the experienced employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.