Aussie-themed US restaurant fined $19m for discriminating against women employees

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London, Dec. 30 (ANI): An Australia-themed US restaurant has been fined 19 million dollars over sex discrimination charges against thousands of its women employees at hundreds of branches across the country.

A lawsuit filed against Outback Steakhouse in federal court in 2006 said that the chain discriminated against female employees and denied them equal opportunities for advancement.

It added that female employees couldn't get promoted to the higher-level profit-sharing management positions in the restaurants and were denied favorable job assignments, particularly kitchen management experience.

Tom Flanagan, a joint venture partner, allegedly said female managers had "let him down" and "lost focus" when they had children, ABC's Denver affiliate reported.

He also allegedly said women managers had trouble "saying no" and expressed a desire for "cute girls" to work as servers.

"There are still too many glass ceilings left to shatter in workplaces throughout corporate America. The EEOC will continue to bring class lawsuits like this one against employers who engage in gender discrimination on a systemic scale," The Daily Telegraph quoted Equal Employment Opportunity Commission acting chairman Stuart Ishimaru, as saying.

The lawsuit settlement also requires the Outback launch an online application system for employees interested in managerial and other supervisory positions, hire a human resource executive in the newly created position of vice president of people and employ an outside consultant for at least two years who will determine compliance with the settlement terms and analyse data from the online application system to determine whether women have equal opportunities for promotion. (ANI)

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