Texas Roadhouse Discriminates Against Old People, Feds Say

There's not a lot that's authentically Texas about the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain -- it's based in Massachusetts, after all -- but there are 52 locations here in the state, including a handful in the Houston area.

We think we've eaten there once, but have forgotten, which says about as much as needs to be said, we guess.

But chances are any employees we saw on our visit were young, to such a degree that the feds have filed an age-discrimination suit against the chain.

Texas Roadhouse management insisted that all front-of-the-house workers be under 40 years old, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says.

How? By showing a slide in training sessions telling managers to "know what [a front of the house employee] looks like, which consisted of a picture of "young people shouting and making gestures," the EEOC says.

Young people shouting and making gestures? What could possibly define "great dining atmosphere" better?

Also in the chain's arsenal of tricks were the following questions and comments, which the feds say occurred in job interviews with The Olds:

-- "You seem older to be applying for this job." (Possible answer: Yeah, dude, I just got laid off from NASA -- do you think I want to be applying at Texas Roadhouse?)

-- "We are looking for people on the younger side...but you have a lot of experience." (Possible answer: Gee, thanks. Don't worry, I won't let the doorknob hit my middle-aged ass on the way out.)

-- "How do you feel about working with younger people?" (Possible answer: Will there be shouting and gesturing involved?)

-- "We're hiring for greeters but we need the young hot ones who are 'chipper' and stuff." (Possible answer: "Chipper"? Who's using the 23-skiddo lingo now?)

-- "I'm basically looking for young teenagers." (Possible answer: Perv.)

The EEOC is seeking an injunction against what it says are the chain's improper hiring practices, and remedial training for managers on stuff like the Constitution and civil rights.

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