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EEOC Brings Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against DG Grill & Chill


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against DG Grill & Chill (DG Grill) pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals who are age 40 or older on the basis of age, including failing to hire an individual age 40 or older on the basis of age. The EEOC has filed the age discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Theresa Chandler (Chandler) and Dianne Long (Long). The EEOC claims that DG Grill failed to hire Chandler and Long because of their age in violation of the ADEA.

On September 28, 2018, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, EEOC v. Tennessee Restaurant Group, LLC, d/b/a DG Grill & Chill, Case No. 3:18-cv-975, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. In this article, our Marion County, Florida age discrimination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against DG Grill.

EEOC’S Allegations Of Age Discrimination

In March 2017, Chandler applied for a crew position at DG Grill’s restaurant in Bellevue, Tennessee. Chandler was 59 years old when she applied for employment with DG Grill. Chandler’s application indicated that she was interested in a full-time position and was available to work forty hours per week. In March 2017, Chandler was interviewed by the General Manager of DG Grill’s Bellevue restaurant. The General Manager told Chandler that she thought Chandler would be a good fit for a service position. Nonetheless, DG Grill did not hire Chandler.

In March 2017, DG Grill’s Bellevue restaurant hired five individuals who are substantially younger than Chandler. Each person hired was under the age of 40 and at least 25 years younger than Chandler. DG Grill claimed that it did not hire Chandler because each person hired “had restaurant experience, [and was] flexible to work day, night, and the weekends.” According to the EEOC, however, at least four of the individuals hired were not available to work day, night, and the weekends.

One individual, who was age 18 when hired, did not have previous fast food experience and was not available to work on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Another individual, who was age 24 when hired, indicated in her employment application that she could not work on Wednesday or Sunday. Similarly, another individual, who was age 23 when hired, indicated limited availability in her employment application as she could only work 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Finally, another individual, who was age 18 when hired, indicated limited availability in his employment application as he could only work after 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, after 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, and not at all on Tuesday. In contrast to the limited availability of the substantially younger individuals who were hired, Chandler indicated in her employment application that she had unlimited availability four days a week, daytime availability on Thursday, morning availability on Saturday, and unlimited availability after 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

In March 2017, Long applied to work at DG Grill’s restaurant in Portland, Tennessee. Long was 57 years old when she applied for employment with DG Grill. Long has worked in the fast food industry since she was 14 years old and has experience as a cook and a server. Despite her extensive relevant experience, Long did not receive an interview or call back. In further support of its claim that DG Grill refused to hire Chandler and Long because of their age, the EEOC alleges that DG Grill had stated that “if the person was old with arthritis they would not be hired.”

EEOC Fights Age Discrimination

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including age discrimination. In enforcing the federal anti-discrimination laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of victims of employment discrimination. In a press release regarding the case, the district director for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, Delnar Franklin-Thomas, stated that “[a]ge stereotyping has no place in hiring decisions; it is illegal, demoralizing, and deprives the workplace of invaluable knowledge, experience, and creativity.”

Free Consultation With Ocala Age Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, we have represented employment discrimination victims in hundreds of cases before the EEOC. If you have been a victim of age discrimination or have questions about filing a complaint of discrimination with the EEOC, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Marion County, Florida age discrimination attorneys. Our employment and labor law attorneys take employment discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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