That’s the message Ruby Tuesday Inc. is sending some of its workers, according to a lawsuit recently filed by the EEOC, which accuses the restaurant chain of excluding male employees from consideration for coveted temporary assignments at a Utah resort.
Brought on behalf of male Ruby Tuesday employees Andrew Herrera and Joshua Bell, the suit claims an internal Ruby Tuesday job posting violated equal opportunity employment laws from the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991.
More specifically, the EEOC claim alleges that, in the spring of 2013, Ruby Tuesday posted an internal announcement within a 10-state region advertising temporary bartender and server positions in the chain’s Park City, Utah location, with company-provided housing for those selected. Herrera—a Ruby Tuesday employee since 2005 in Corvallis, Ore.—was one of at least two male workers who wanted to apply for one of the positions, “because of the chance to earn more money in the busy summer resort town,” according to an EEOC statement.
The announcement, however, stated that “only females would be considered, and Ruby Tuesday in fact selected only women for those summer jobs, supposedly from fears about housing employees of both genders together,” according to the EEOC.
What may be most surprising about this particular case is “that Ruby Tuesday was pretty upfront about wanting only women to apply for the positions,” according to a recent Washington Post article.
Ruby Tuesday did not immediately respond to the Post’s requests for comment. But if the Maryville, Tenn.-based chain did in fact make clear it would only seriously consider women for these roles, such a move would be a “rare” and “explicit example” of gender discrimination, says William R. Tamayo, a San Francisco-based regional attorney for the EEOC.
“This suit is a cautionary tale to employers,” says Tamayo, “that sex-based employment decisions are rarely justified, and are not consistent with good business judgment.”
This certainly does seem like a unique case, and we’ll have to wait and see if more suits like this one begin to emerge.
But making positions such as those sought by Andrew Herrera and his male colleagues available to men could not only boost overall labor conditions, but may actually help level the playing field for women in some industries, according to UCLA Law Professor Noah Zatz.
“Jobs constructed as being for women pay less [and] have fewer promotional opportunities,” Zatz told TakePart.
“Busting up that single-sex monopoly in waitressing, in-flight service and nursing, for example, could be a strategy for disrupting the ways jobs are disadvantageous to women.”Twitter It!