After millions of baby boomers lost their life savings during the financial crisis (a catastrophe for which no senior bankers were ever held accountable), more old white men are being forced out of retirement or simply being forced to work until a much later age.
Unfortunately for older Americans, rampant ageism in the workforce is making it difficult to get well-paying work - or even, as the following case shows, a job at the local restaurant and bar.
To wit, Darden's Season 52 chain of restaurants was has been forced to pay $2.85 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that job candidates interviewing for jobs at the chain's 41 locations had been told that they wouldn't be considered because the company didn't hire "old white guys," according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"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."
The EEOC alleged that one manager bluntly said Seasons 52 didn’t employ "old white guys.'"
Though the company escaped an admission of liability (and continues to deny the allegations) it will now be required to hold new training for all hiring managers regarding "age-neutral and non-discriminatory recruiting, interviewing, and hiring; and how to avoid stereotypes in hiring and in the workplace, including ageism and age stereotypes."
Also, the victims of the company's purported discrimination will be invited to reapply for positions at the restaurant. Season 52 has also been required to have its hiring practices monitored for three years by an independent attorney.
The case, which was filed in February 2015, alleged that Darden’s Seasons 52 chain tried to portray a "young and hip" image by hiring younger servers and hosts.