Texas Roadhouse Case

You are on the jury that heard each of these cases, and it is time for you and your fellow jurors to deliberate on them one at a time. No one understood the judge when she read the jury instructions, so you reach back to your knowledge from HRM 3512. For each case, please answer the questions posed, and submit them at the end of class with your verdict. Feel free to use any course materials that help you, just no Internet, please!

Texas Roadhouse Case:

What main law is involved here?
What is that law about?
Which side needs to prove what?
Who has the burden of proof?
What types of things did you hear during the trial that are evidence?
What types of things did you hear during the trial that are argument?
Which side would you suggest should win, and why?
Park Pleasant Case:

What main law is involved here?
What is that law about?
Which side needs to prove what?
Who has the burden of proof?
What types of things did you hear during the trial that are evidence?
What types of things did you hear during the trial that are argument?
Which side would you suggest should win, and why?
Case 1: Texas Roadhouse (United States)

Texas Roadhouse is a nationwide chain of steakhouses with a casual vibe, a partner in country singer Willie Nelson and, according to one lawsuit, a history of discrimination. The case with 11 plaintiffs for failure to hire them was filed in 2011.

Among the evidence the plaintiffs presented: job applications from 38 restaurants in 20 states, on which company officials posted yellow stickers with comments. Besides “Old “N Chubby” they included “OLD,” “little older lady,” and “middle age … Doesn’t really fit our image.”

The plaintiffs, each over 40 and each denied a server position, testified that they were asked, “How well do you work with younger people?” as part of their interview.

Also included: statistics showing that, of the almost 200,000 people Texas Roadhouse hired over the years for so-called front-of-the-house jobs, fewer than 3,000 were over 40 — a disparity so great the plaintiff’s expert witness estimated the odds of it happening absent discrimination at one in 781 billion. Texas Roadhouse defended that older people generally don’t apply for server jobs, as the company limits servers to three tables at a time and that means there isn’t enough income in the job to interest older workers.

Asked whether the company did discriminate on the basis of age, according to one employee’s court filings, Texas Roadhouse’s then-human resources director, Dee Shaughnessy, allegedly replied: “Did we do it? Of course we did it. All you have to do is walk in the front door of our restaurants and see what people look like.”

In their own filings and testimony, Texas Roadhouse executives have vehemently denied the allegations and the accuracy of the statistics on front-of-the-house positions.

Sample Solution

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