MIAMI (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced May 3 that Seasons 52, a chain of restaurants based in Orlando, will pay $2.85 million after allegations of age discrimination against a class of people.

"As we commemorate May as Older Americans Month, we should be mindful that age discrimination continues to keep too many older, experienced American workers out of the workforce -- many of whom are not working as a matter of choice but as a matter of need," EEOC acting chairwoman Victoria A. Lipnic said in a statement. "I am very proud of the relief the EEOC has obtained, including almost $3 million in financial relief, and, perhaps even more important, strong equitable relief to ensure that applicants and workers do not face this sort of discrimination in the future. I commend our investigative and trial teams in Miami for their outstanding work."

According to allegations, Seasons 52 routinely hired younger workers for its front-of-house and back-of-house positions. More than 135 people who applied to positions with Seasons 52 provided testimony saying that during interviews, Seasons 52 managers would ask about their age.

"Although ageism is among the most common forms of employment discrimination, applicants who are turned down rarely know the reason why,” said EEOC trial attorney Kristen Foslid. “When an employer has a trend of rejecting older applicants, the EEOC will respond aggressively to combat age stereotypes."

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