Texas Roadhouse sues EEOC over discrimination allegations

Texas Roadhouse has turned the tables on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, suing the agency over age discrimination allegations that were levied against the restaurant chain in 2011.

A suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky seeks information from the EEOC that’s relevant to the age-discrimination charges and the agency’s subsequent investigation. 

Roadhouse specifically demanded that the EEOC turn over records relating to the source of the allegations, which became the basis for a lawsuit filed by the regulatory body on behalf of job applicants; all statements made about the case to the media by the EEOC; the total cost of pursuing the age discrimination suit against the chain.

The suit filed by the EEOC in 2011 alleges that Roadhouse discriminated against job candidates 40 years of age or older when filling front-of-the-house positions.

Roadhouse said today through a lawyer that the openings were for nighttime and weekend shifts, and that the job required line-dancing with co-workers from time to time. Attorney Stephen Pence also noted in a statement that persons holding the relevant jobs are required to wear jeans and t-shirts. He seemed to suggest that persons over 40 might be uncomfortable with any or all of those requirements.

Roadhouse filed Freedom of Information Act requests in July and August to obtain information from the EEOC. The lawsuit filed today asks that the court require the agency to comply with the request.

The EEOC had not responded publicly by posting time.

The Louisville, Ky.-based chain consists of 435 full-service casual steakhouses in 49 states.


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