Two men are suing restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday for workplace discrimination.
Workers Joshua Bell from Missouri and Oregon employee Andrew Herrera claim that the food company was encouraging sexism at a location in Utah.
In 2013, Ruby Tuesday in Park City sent out summer job offers to 10 states around the country. They guaranteed new employees free room and board in exchange for their temporary service.
Yet, as written in the internal job announcement, the restaurant planned to only consider applications received from prospective female workers.
Ruby Tuesday stated that it didn’t want to deal with figuring out how to house both genders under the same roof.
Bell and Herrera viewed Ruby Tuesday’s intentions as favoritism for female employees.
The duo decided to take their claim of sex discrimination to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) while stating how the provisions on the application caused them to miss out on earning extra money and gaining work experience.
"This suit is a cautionary tale to employers that sex-based employment decisions are rarely justified, and are not consistent with good business judgment," said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo.
The attorney also added that the EEOC seldom receives accusations to this degree, especially those that openly exhibits gender inequality.
It comes as a shock, however, that either man was exempted as a potential candidate.
As noted by the EEOC press release document, Herrera was a worker for Ruby Tuesday in Corvallis, Oregon for more than 10 years. He also was a skilful trainer who prepared new hires for food service success.
He possessed all the experience and skills needed to fulfil the job, but Ruby Tuesday still decided to overlook his qualifications.
However, workplace activists are viewing this incident as a step in the right direction to understanding what the majority of female employees experience in most workforces.
"Jobs constructed as being for women pay less, have fewer promotional opportunities, and often, part of job is to be sexually available to male clients," noted UCLA law professor Noah Zatz.
While Ruby Tuesday’s actions may not have been in favor of male applicants, it may encourage some sympathy for workingwomen.
Some experts on the matter agree that appointing male workers to female dominant positions may improve labor conditions—creating a blurred line between sex-specific professions.
For example, men would have the chance to pursue roles that frequently victimize women through sexual objectification, marginal positions, and low wages. Certain job positions like waiting tables and nursing won’t just be exclusive to women.
In the American labour market stereotypes determine who is right for different jobs. Gender discrimination towards men doesn’t happen often, but it does exist.
In the case of Ruby Tuesday’s job ad, female applicants were exclusively top priority without any consideration of including men to the equation.
The EEOC hopes this dispute will change how some employers hire workers, especially corporations that are driven by sex-specific jobs. It could very well be the basis of determining how employment impartiality affects women more than men.
The commission has filed the suit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.
In addition to seeking monetary damages, the EEOC will also inquire training on anti-discrimination laws and posting of notices throughout the 10-state region.