While sexual harassment claims are often filed by women who suffer discrimination or retaliation by male superiors, a recent federal case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a reminder that discrimination and harassment can go both ways. According to a statement from the EEOC, a well-known restaurant chain is being sued for discriminating against male applicants for bartender and server positions. According to the complaint, the restaurant in its Park City, Utah locations only hired women for its summer positions. The federal lawsuit was filed in late January by the EEOC, seeking an injunction that would stop the restaurant from depriving men of employment as a result of their gender.
In taking legal action against the restaurant, the EEOC is sending a message to all restaurants and service industry employers that they must put an end to all wrongful and illegal employment practices. The EEOC is seeking to compensate two workers who were denied jobs during the summer of 2013 because they were male. An attorney representing the plaintiffs stated publicly that this is a cautionary tale to other employers who favor female employees when hiring.
According to the complaint, the company went out of its way to advertise for temporary positions during the summer of 2013, indicating it showed exclusive preference for female applicants. The company even stated specifically that it was not hiring men.