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Lawry's Restaurants Settles Sex Bias Lawsuit for $1 Million

This is a settlement for the Employment lawsuit.

Los Angeles, CA:– The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the settlement of a sex discrimination class action lawsuit for $1,025,000 and far reaching injunctive relief against Lawry's Restaurants, Inc., doing business as Lawry's the Prime Rib, Five Crowns, and Tam O'Shanter Inn (Lawry's), for allegedly failing to hire men into food server positions for decades. Lawry's is a California-based corporation operating restaurants in Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Corona del Mar, CA.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged Lawry's with maintaining a longstanding companywide policy of hiring only women for server positions in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex-based discrimination. The EEOC's involvement was initiated by a charge of discrimination filed in March 2003 by a male applicant in Las Vegas.

The EEOC filed suit on March 31, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (CV 06-1963 DDP (PLAx)) after investigating the charge of discrimination, finding merit, and first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. In investigating the case, the EEOC found that Lawry's policy barring men from being hired as servers had existed since 1938, despite the enactment of Title VII a quarter century later. While, Lawry's claimed the policy was based on tradition, the EEOC found the policy adversely affected a class of men on the basis of sex.

"Sex discrimination, against men and women alike, continues to be a problem in the 21st century workplace," said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. "This case should remind corporate America that employment decisions must be based on merit and ability to do the job – not on gender stereotypes."

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Published on Nov-3-09


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