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An unusual case of explicit employment discrimination

Gender discrimination has long been prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991. And typically, when an employment discrimination lawsuit is brought, the plaintiff's are women, who allege various machinations by their employer to place them at a disadvantage to their male coworkers.

Often, this is masked by seemingly gender neutral trappings, making it appear as if there were equal opportunity for both sexes, when in fact, behind the scenes, the women were significantly disadvantaged.

Sometimes, this occurs because of prior practice and other rules, which effectively exclude women, as when a police or fire department only promotes those employees with a minimum number of years of experience.

In a traditionally male-dominated environment, women could be foreclosed from opportunities because the department has no women with the requisite number of years of experience. If seniority receives a significant preference, no women would be able to compete with men who all posses a greater number of years of service.

So it is surprising in this day and age of well-counseled human resource departments to see that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday for a case of explicit employment discrimination.

It seems the restaurant only wanted women to work a temporary, but lucrative, assignment in a resort. It appears they believed it would be less expensive to rent living quarters if they only hired women.

It may have been, if it did not violate the federal antidiscrimination laws. Sadly for them, by the time they add up their legal expenses and any damages, it is unlikely they will have saved any expense.

washingtonpost.com, "Ruby Tuesday accused of employment discrimination. Against men." Abby Phillip, January 26, 2015

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