SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit in San Diego alleging a restaurant chain denied male applicants and employees the same opportunities as their female counterparts.
The EEOC alleges that since at least 2015, the company routinely rejected male applicants and employees for server positions and maintained a server workforce that was more than 90 percent female, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
Burgers & Beer, which according to its website has restaurants in six locations, including Temecula, Yuma and El Centro, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The EEOC said it filed the lawsuit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking injunctive relief to prohibit Burgers & Beer from engaging in future alleged unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for the victims.
“Denying someone the chance to compete for a job simply because of their gender violates federal law, even if the employer presumes customers would prefer to be surrounded by female servers,” said Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego office. “Presumed preferences are no excuse for any kind of discrimination. The EEOC will continue to pursue the eradication of this type of unlawful behavior.”