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Olive Garden’s Parent Company Is Facing A Lawsuit Over ‘Discrimination’ Tipping Policy

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The advocacy group called One Fair Wage is after Darden Restaurants. Darden Restaurants is the parent company of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V’s. The lawsuit claims that their tipping policy encourages racial discrimination and sexual harassment against employees of the restaurants.

According to TODAY, “In 43 states, employers can pay their workers as little as $2.13 an hour as long as that hourly wage and tips add up to the locality’s pay floor. Otherwise, the employer has to make up the difference.” The last time this tipped minimum wage was raised was in 1991. One Fair Wage found that many people of color earn less than White employees due to this policy.

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Olive Garden’s parent company is being sued

Olive Garden / Flickr

The group also claims that managers can put servers in sections that generally receive lower tips. They also found more instances of sexual harassment in these areas with the low-tipped minimum wage. The lawsuit also claims, “Managers may tell their servers to dress more suggestively to earn higher tips and turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in order to keep the customer happy.”

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RELATED: Olive Garden Now Has An Exclusive Lifetime Pasta Pass

Longhorn Steakhouse / Wikimedia Commons

One Fair Wage has outlined some suggestions to fix the issue including pooling tips or adding service charges to bills. What do you think about this issue? As of right now, they seem to only be targeting Darden Restaurants but more lawsuits could come. Another report shows that Darden Restaurants are set to give bonuses… perhaps to alleviate the complaints? Watch below:

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