In a development with profound implications for so-called breastaurant restaurants, six-unit Burgers & Beer has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a gender discrimination case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the chain’s alleged refusal to hire men as servers.
In announcing the settlement, the EEOC noted that Burgers & Beer has a virtually all-female waitstaff. A number of larger chains champion a scantily clad female serving team as a point of distinction.
In addition to paying the fine, Burgers & Beer agreed to meet certain targets for hiring and retaining men as servers. As part of that effort, the operation will review all of its job descriptions and develop a plan for hiring more males.
In announcing the settlement, the EEOC noted the common objections from breastaurants that they’re merely obliging customers’ preference for female servers.
“Supposed customer preference is no excuse for discriminatory behavior,” said Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego office. “Employers should take heed of this resolution and review their practices to ensure they are compliant with federal law."
Hiring on the basis of gender is a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.