There is more than just the tough economy working against some job applicants, as lawsuit is filed against chain restaurant for only hiring younger workers.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity commission filed a lawsuit accusing the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain of age discrimination when hiring 'front of the house' employees.

The lawsuit claims the barbecue chain instructed its managers to hire younger job applicants for positions such as servers, hosts and bartenders.

Applicants who were 40 years old and up were given a number of different excuses, all of which showed a clear preference for younger applicants. 

The restaurant's spokesman Travis Doster says the restaurant denies the charges.

In spite of its name, Texas Roadhouse first opened in Kentucky in 1993 and now has 350 locations across the U.S.

The company's website claims that it takes great pride in its workers, nicknamed 'roadies', and even has a fund dedicated to providing emergency relief for workers who fall under financial hardship due to a death in the family, natural disasters, or personal injury.

The investigation was based out of the Boston office of the EEOC and dates as far back as January 2007.

According to the lawsuit, a mere 1.9 per cent of employees with front of house positions which is 'well below' the number at similar chain restaurants.

The basis for the suit is the Age Discrimination Employment Act which protects the rights of employees over the age of 40.

'It is important in this difficult economic climate that we redouble our nation's commitment to the principle of non-discrimination in the workplace,' said P. David Lopez, the EEOC's general counsel on Monday. 

'As a national law enforcement agency, the EEOC will vigorously protect the rights of job applicants to ensure that hiring decisions are based on abilities, not age,' Mr Lopez said.

Even though the recession has been tough to all workers, it has been discriminatingly so towards older Americans as workers over the age of 55 are twice as likely to stay jobless for 99 weeks- nearly two years- as compared to their younger competitors.

Article from Mail online