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Olive Garden’s parent Darden accused of discrimination over tipping policies

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Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, Inc., has been accused of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with its tipping policies, according to recent reports.

On Tuesday, nonprofit group One Fair Wage filed a federal complaint against Darden, saying that since its tipped workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are subject to sexual harassment, bias and ultimately pay discrimination, The Washington Post reported.

Darden — one of the largest restaurant companies in the country — told FOX Business in a statement that the “allegations are baseless.”

“Darden is a values-based company built on a culture of integrity and fairness, respect and caring, and a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” the statement said.

DOORDASH ACCUSED OF MISLABELING NON-PARTNER RESTAURANTS AS TOO FAR, CLOSED: LAWSUIT

Though One Fair Wage filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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Parent company of Olive Garden violates the Civil Rights Act with its tipping policies, activists say

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Activists looking to eliminate the sub-minimum wage for tipped employees — a practice that they say keeps workers in poverty, encourages sexual harassment and leads to racial discrimination — are taking a new approach in their campaign to end the two-tiered wage system in America: They’re arguing the lower tipped wage, sometimes as little as $2.13 an hour, violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The first test of this strategy arrived Tuesday. One Fair Wage, a national worker-advocacy group, filed a federal complaint against Darden Restaurants Inc., one of the largest hospitality groups in the country, alleging that the company’s practice of paying tipped workers a sub-minimum wage causes them to suffer more sexual harassment than non-tipped workers and leads employees of color to earn less in tips than their White co-workers. The practice, the group argues, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits employment discrimination

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Darden stock jumps as Olive Garden parent cuts executive pay, to-go sales skyrocket

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A customer arrives at a Darden Restaurants Inc. Olive Garden location in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Callaghan O’Hare | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Darden Restaurants said Tuesday that it is furloughing some restaurant support center employees and slashing executive pay as same-store sales plummet 39% so far in the fiscal fourth quarter.

Shares of the restaurant company rose 13% in trading. The stock, which has a market value of $7.1 billion, has dropped 45% so far in 2020.

In the week ended Sunday, Darden’s same-store sales fell 71% across all of its chains, which include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

Olive Garden’s same-store sales have declined 34.5% so far in the fourth quarter, as of Sunday. Same-store sales at LongHorn steakhouse have fallen 36.4% in the same time period. But both chains are seeing significant spikes in to-go sales per restaurant. Olive

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Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden Parent Darden Stop Dividends

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Photograph by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Restaurants have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as sit-down business falls off sharply, and dividend suspensions are starting to occur.

Texas Roadhouse
(Ticker: TXRH) said Wednesday that it was suspending quarterly dividends “to better manage its cash position” due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

The company primarily operates casual, moderately priced restaurants whose menus feature steak, chicken, seafood and other offerings.

In February, the company’s board declared a quarterly dividend of 36 cents a share that’s payable Friday, after which the dividend is suspended.

The stock was recently down about 20% this month, trailing the S&P’s performance of minus 16%.

Another restaurant operator,
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
(CBRL), said Wednesday that it was deferring a previously declared dividend and suspending its regular dividend program. It cited uncertainties as to the duration and economic impact of the pandemic.

The stock

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