An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney calls it "an unusual lawsuit"—because you don't often hear about the EEOC suing on behalf of men who say they've been discriminated against. But that's what's happening in Eugene, Ore., where such a lawsuit has been filed accusing the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain of discrimination, the Oregonian reports. As Take Part explains, the Park City, Utah, location advertised for temporary summer positions in 2013, complete with free housing and paid expenses—and then allegedly only hired women for those positions because the restaurant didn't want to deal with the hassle of coed housing. The EEOC is suing on behalf of Andrew Herrera, who worked at an Oregon Ruby Tuesday, and Joshua Bell, who worked at a Missouri one, both of whom applied for positions.
The lawsuit accuses Ruby Tuesday of violating the Civil Rights Act, and the EEOC wants Ruby Tuesday to stop hiring based on gender and to pay losses to Herrera and Bell. Despite the fact that the lawsuit was brought on behalf of men, experts tell Take Part it could help to protect all workers from discrimination, plus possibly improve work conditions since, one explains, "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." Adds another, "The idea that a company would come up with an outright bar excluding men from applying to a job—if the EEOC didn’t take steps to stop that, what would be next?" (At least one weatherman has also sued for sex discrimination.)