Old White Guys Need Not Apply, by Laurence M. Vance

Should discrimination be either a civil wrong or a crime? From Laurence M. Vance at lewrockwell.com:

The victory of the plaintiff in recent Supreme Court case of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission does not mean that all forms of discrimination are now legal in the United States.

Far from it.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it had settled a three-year-old lawsuit against Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, a Fortune 500 company with 1,700 restaurants and 175,000 employees that owns the brands Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s, and Seasons 52.

The problem?

The federal lawsuit, which was filed in February 2015, alleged that job candidates at Seasons 52 were told that the restaurants didn’t hire “old white guys.”

Seasons 52, which has forty-one locations in twenty states, “is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonal menu inspired by the fresh appeal of a farmer’s market and what’s good now.” The restaurant uses “ingredients at their peak and rustic cooking techniques, like brick-oven roasting and open fire grilling over oak and mesquite, which bring out the natural flavors of food.”

The EEOC

  • said managers at Darden’s Seasons 52 chain tried to portray a young and hip image by hiring younger servers and hosts.
  • alleged that Seasons 52 wouldn’t hire two men, Anthony Scornavacca, then 52, and Hugo Alfaro, then 42, because of their age.
  • commissioned a statistical report from a University of California, Irvine professor that said Seasons 52 had not hired enough older employees.
  • said it contacted thousands of people over 40 who applied for jobs at Seasons 52 and found 254 people who claimed they were treated with bias.
  • alleged that one manager bluntly said that Seasons 52 didn’t employ “old white guys.”

“Often, discrimination cases are hard to prove,” said David Seltzer, an attorney on the case with the EEOC’s Miami district office. “But here, Seasons 52 interviews across locations repeatedly told applicants things like ‘We don’t hire people over 40,’ ‘Seasons 52 girls are younger and fresh’ or asked them for their date of birth, high school graduation date or a driver’s license.”

Lawyers for Darden argued the incidents were isolated and that there wasn’t proof of a top-down effort to exclude older workers.

To continue reading: Old White Guys Need Not Apply

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