Burgers & Beer restaurant chain sued for sex discrimination

Posted at 12:18 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 21:09:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A lawsuit filed in San Diego accuses the Southern California restaurant chain Burgers & Beers of violating a law by maintaining a mostly female server workforce.

In the sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Burgers & Beer allegedly violated federal law by denying male applicants the same employment opportunities as their female counterparts.

Since at least 2015, the Southern California chain “routinely rejected male applicants and employees” from server positions based on sex. The EEOC says Burgers & Beer “maintained a server workforce that was over 90 percent female” -- an action that violates 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."

City News Service contributed to this report