Monday, January 30, 2017


Staring into the whirlwind of reduced regulations about things like accessibility likely on the horizon, RantWoman has gone on an odd quest, in search of anti discrimination / equal opportunity statements on websites in the Restaurant Industry.

RantWoman started with site for Carl's Jr., the company headed by Trump Administration nominee for Secretary of Labor Andy Puzdar.

RantWoman found the site basically accessible. RantWoman considers videos that play automatically at a high volume kind of a menace to people's hearing. More importantly, RantWoman both poked around and used a search engine but did not find any non-discrimination statement anywhere. If there actually is one and someone leaves a comment, RantWoman will revise this post.

Otherwise, lack of any kind of  equal opportunity / nondiscrimination statement on a corporate website would definitely be something RantWoman would ask about during a confirmation process. But RantWoman would also think to ask: Do you suppose if the country were to  raise the minimum wage to $15 / hour nationwide more people will have money to eat at your restaurants?

The other company on RantWoman's mind is Cheescake Factory. Cheescake factory is on RantWoman's mind because of a recent lawsuit filed by the EEOC in Seattle. Here is the newsrelease.
More on the substance of the lawsuit in a moment.

RantWoman is happy to note that the Cheesecake Factory corporate website does have an equal employment / nondiscrimination statement of sorts.
Our policy is to provide employment, promotional opportunities, training, compensation, benefits, and all other conditions of employment, without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, national origin, age, medical condition, marital status, citizenship, ancestry, military status, disability, familial status, gender identity, gender expression or any other protected class. We strive to hire and develop the best-qualified people, basing our judgment on job-related criteria.

RantWoman gives Cheesecake Factory points for at least having a policy. However RantWoman finds herself taken aback by the following item:

Submission of information by an individual for a vacant position with The Cheesecake Factory via this Site does not necessarily mean and should in no way be construed as establishing the individual as an "applicant" for the purposes of The Cheesecake Factory's compliance with Executive Order 11246 or Federal Affirmative Action laws and regulations.  In accordance with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance's interpretation of the term applicant in Q&A 15 [44 Fed. Reg. 11996 (March 2, 1979)], each of The Cheesecake Factory's respective locations reserves the right to define the term applicant in a manner consistent with its specific recruitment and selection procedures.

OKAYYYY, so why were the equal employment statement and the above disclaimer not enough to keep the company from getting sued?

RantWoman is not a lawyer.

RantWoman is not in a position to comment about all events leading up to the suit.

RantWoman is not a super gee whiz expert about video production but RantWoman is a language geek. Providing captioning is a REALLY basic accessibility feature, and RantWoman thinks it should not be very difficult to use the script one develops for audio on a video and to load that as captions as well.

RantWoman also knows more than one person who started out with limited English and relied on the captioning in movies and on television to help them learn English. And furthermore, if the company is going to use the same training videos companywide, why the heck NOT take a simple step that gives employees another easy pathway to review material, that delivers content uniformly?

Please note: providing captioning is only part of the language access  issue in this suit. If a job applicant makes a reasonable accommodations request for a sign  language interpreter for training, the company is required to provide one! At least as of the filing of the lawsuit.


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