EEOC Wins FOIA Battle In Steakhouse Age Bias Dispute

A Kentucky federal judge on Tuesday booted Texas Roadhouse Inc.'s suit against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly failing to hand over documents related to its age discrimination case against the restaurant chain, saying the company must first exhaust its administrative remedies.

U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. granted the EEOC’s motion to dismiss without prejudice, finding the EEOC did, in fact, respond on Oct. 9 to Texas Roadhouse’s first three Freedom of Information Act requests — filed in July and August — aiming to dig up records behind the EEOC's 2011 age bias suit against Texas Roadhouse. The agency responded to the FOIA requests more than a week after Texas Roadhouse filed the instant suit alleging it hadn’t received a single page of the requested documents.

“Contrary to Texas Roadhouse assertions, the court finds that Texas Roadhouse did not challenge the adequacy of the EEOC’s belated production of documents in its amended complaint,” Judge McKinley said in the order. “Instead, Texas Roadhouse alleges in both the complaint and amended complaint that the EEOC ‘failed to provide either a determination regarding, or the documents responsive, to plaintiffs’ funds request.’” Continue>>>