In-N-Out Discrimination Suit Alleges Unfair Hiring Practices

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In-N-Out Burger, a longtime fast-food staple on the West coast, is being accused of discrimination when it comes to their hiring practices, and they’re fighting back.

When two African-American men, both aged over 40, applied for jobs at the restaurant recently, they were both turned down despite being qualified. Now, they have filed a suit against the chain for discrimination on the basis of race and age. Out of thousands of employees, the men claim very few are either black or over the age of 40. They are seeking a change in hiring policy as well as monetary compensation for individuals who have been unfairly denied employment.

The attorney for the two men, Steve Tidrick, said the suit alleges that In-N-Out Burger has “a pervasive policy of discrimination on the basis of race, color and age” in its hiring practices and seeks to end those practices through injunctive relief. But the restaurant owners don’t agree.

Arnie Wensinger, vice president of the company, said, “We hire from our local communities and our restaurants reflect the demographics of that community. The company will aggressively defend itself against these baseless and irresponsible allegations.”

In-N-Out Discrimination Suit Alleges Unfair Hiring Practices
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  • http://yahoo.com Voltaire

    If any restaurant chain has earned a discrimination suit it’s Ramona’s! Not only do they not hire black americans they will not hire white americans! Now, hows that for discrimination. Ramona’s only hires spanish speaking people. How they have bypassed equal opportunity and fair hiring practices this long is ingenious. However, there is no denying they make the best enchiladas and buritos this side of T.J., as for In-n-Out, I for one can only go so long until I must have a Double Double, Animal Style. So let’s be reasonable folks and do it the American way, those who love to eat what they want in healthy portions, then please indulge yourselves. Likewise, those who are so annoyed with a privately owned company’s hiring practice, then please dont eat there, McDonald’s has a patty that was frozen for only God knows how long and fries too just waiting for you and the billions others with the exact same non-discriminating taste. God Bless America.

  • Lovebug

    Is there any other information about the two men. Any criminal history, and what was their qualifications? Only issue that matters is whether they are fast and accurate. Please elaborate on their qualifying factors.

  • Lovebug

    Only thing is that if someone sets up a business in the United States, you want people’s business but you will not hire them. That’s pretty hypocritical.

    • chuck

      I was living on my own through my last high school year because I grew up in an abusive home, I worked at a trash hauler at night sorting milk jugs on a sort line, i barely graduated high school in the summer . I have know college experience, but I make more than $ 100,000 per year now. It took a ridiculous amount of hard work and sacrifice but anyone can do it. I have lots of conditions, pain in both shoulders, arthritis in both feet and back but some how I still wake up at 4 am drive nearly 1 hour to work and work my ass off until 6pm every day, I have called in sick 2 times in 5 years. Stop making excuses, our forefathers would be disgusted with our current culture.

      • kitty

        Ignore those idiots. Good for your success. Some people have no shame of being a failure.

  • chuck

    I have a question, why are 2 40 year old men applying at In n Out for a $9 hr job anyways? Fast food is not a reasonable means to provide for a family, and I don’t want to hear that there are too few jobs because that just is not true. I hire these guys coming off of unemployment in my shop and they last less than 2 weeks, they stop coming in because its to hot, or the work is too hard. My buddy at a recycling center says he goes through 3 or 4 people per week because the work is to hard. we are in So Cal and our homes are worth nothing but trust me there are lots of jobs out there, they are just outside and its hard work. I might not live as long as some guy who doesn’t use his back and works in AC but I will have put my family in a nice home, and my kids through college. If you are are a man, go out and get a mans job, stop trying to take jobs from High School kids.

    • Carmelkiss

      Chuck, you are living under a mushroom in Lala-land, right? These 40-year old men have just as much right to apply to work at this burger joint as everyone else under the age of “40”. The best customer service/counter workers I prefer to place my order with are english-speaking USA elder workers in their 50s and 60s because they are experienced customer service providers.

      • AmySue

        Carmelkiss, you are so right! Chuck is totally lost. I would rather get my customer service from older ENGLISH speaking people than immigrants! They are taking all the jobs from Americans!! And why is it always “negative” complaints when its African Americans standing up for their rights, but if they were latinos, nothing would be said. Everyone would feel sorry for them and claim they had a legitimate case!!! Dont forget this country was literally built on the backs of African Americans not so much on latinos backs.

        • chuck

          I never questioned their right to do anything! You clearly did not read my entire post or you have a questionable ability to read English.

        • Lovebug

          ‘Dont forget this country was literally built on the backs of African Americans’

          AmySue, I doubt that is true. There wouldn’t be so many black people living in places like So Central Los Angeles and other places if that were true.

        • rob

          immigrants are taking all jobs from americans arent they? what an idiot u are!!! if the lazy americans were filling up those jobs there will be no demand for immigrants. whites are looking for easy jobs, while blacks are picking up welfare because it pays more than McD. and others such as these two guys are loooking to sue people and make even easier money. and you are an idiot.

        • http://none Josh

          AmySue I have a few things to say to you because you are obviously a hispanic hating American. This thread had nothing to do with you bashing illegals. This particular Burger Joint is a private organization who chose not to hire two qualified 40+ African Americans, so lets focus on that and not your racism. And those same jobs that this country was so proudly founded on was tobacco, which is now primarily primed by Mexicans. I guess we should just wait a 100 years before we give a shit about their backs. But I would not expect you to know that because that would require an education.

    • Jasmine

      Chuck, you’re obviously talking out of the wrong end. 40 yr old men should be able to work in fast food if they want to. By law, they are allowed to. You see, in the real world, employment is hard to get, especially if you don’t have a degree. The problem is though that it’s hard to pay for college because it’s exhibortantly overpriced, and student loans aren’t always the solution, but rather debt traps that are difficult to get out of. Instead of shooting them down, you should be trying to lift them up for at least trying to make a living. And not everyone can work outside all day. Some people have conditions that make it impossible to do so without health problems. As for your comment on men getting a man’s job, you’re obviously living in the wrong decade if you think men should only get jobs in construction and manual labor. Men and women should be able to work where they want to work if they are qualified. Besides, you shouldn’t have to be qualified in fast food. It’s not brain surgery. You, on the otherhand, should learn to use her brain before speaking. It might help you next time.

      • KD

        It is the age old story of companies performing employee profiling. Ever been to a In-N-Out? They are all young attractive kids, mostly white. I’ve never seen anyone over tha age of about 21 that wasn’t an attractive kid, let alone a 40 yr old black man working at In-and-Out. It is all part of In-and-Outs culture and image.

        This isn’t a case of just these two men, but a case against a corporate wide policy of their hiring practices. Now do I agree with the two men? Not necessarily. Do I agree with In-N-Out, not necessarily. The two men have the right to apply and work anywhere, but at the same time I believe a company has a right, within limits, to hire who they want for certain jobs that are customer facing jobs. Do I think it is always fair, not always. I think there needs to be some onus on the employee as well, to work where they are better suited. Do you really want to be a 40 yr black man working around 19 yr old brats all day long?

        But this happens not just at a fast food place, but in every bar and restaurant (‘m not talking about places like Norm’s Diner). Ever walk into a stylish bar and not see hot babes working or attractive guys?

        People want to see other attractive people, it is only human. Companies use this to their advantage, just like the airlines use to when hiring flight attendants. Remember the days when they were all attractive yound women? There is also a benefit to having attractive women working positions like flight attendants. People are more receptive to a young sexy blonde than they would be to a 40 yr old black man. Especially when they have someone telling them to turn their damn ipad off. I’m not racist, just a realist.

        Back to In-N-Out, another reason they like hiring kids? Every employee has a 401k plan vested after 3 years, so most kids aren’t going to be around after 3 years so it saves them money.

    • Marcus

      You just proved their case of discrimination.

  • pete

    it is a private business.

  • Diquan Washington

    Seriously? What qualifications do they have? None were discussed. I am tired of my fellow African-Americans claiming racism every time they don’t get their way. Stop whinging and move on. Don’t run to the ACLU because they represent Neo-Nazis too… This country is so damn divided.

  • Darlene

    With unemployment at all time highs, I’m sure there are also AT LEAST two other Blacks, two Caucasians, two Hispanics, two Asians, etc., etc. who were also not hired by In and Out. Crying discrimination over every perceived slight has gotten old!

    • Ani Sabare

      not as old as discrimination..

      • rod roberts

        Im so sick of the stupid RACE card always being played!

        • Conni

          But it is being PLAYED ALL THE TIME.

      • Mignon

        I am a black woman and playing the race card as some call it is getting old when it is in fact PLAYING. I think it is a matter of itelligence and knowing when one is being discriminated against. When it comes to racial discrimination it is so very easy for someone who is not black or latino to say its as simple as a card being played…however when you are in front of someone for a job, housing etc…You know and feel when it is a matter of race. Until you have had to deal with it, please do not decide that it does not exist…it DOES and its sad. Maybe you arent racist but there are those idiots out there that are.

        God Bless

  • dirty whiteboy

    wanna talk racist ?? …… go to www.365black.com … thats pure racist

  • fartman

    In and out needs respectful, all colors young men and women, I have had some bad experiences with black teenagers at fast food restaurants. They were plain rude to me; they acted like the world owed them something. maybe In and Out Burger notice their attitude during the interview process. And no I’m not a racist. I was born a poor black child.

  • docann

    There are several In-and-Out Burger outlets within 10 miles of my house. The corporation is correct when they say “they hire accfording to the demographics of the community”. Several employees at the one in my neighborhood are black, because many black people live here. The one in Plano (10 miles away) has white employees. The one in downtown Dallas has black, Hispanic, and white employees. The one in Rowlett has a mixed crew, as well. There has to be another reason these men weren’t hired. I will say that the employees around here seem to be young (in their 20’s). Maybe it’s more of an age factor, but the racial component doesn’t realy play a part–at least around here.

  • http://yahoo george

    So if this suit reaches a successful decision for the plaintiffs the following will occur:
    Employers will not be allowed to hire based on the best candidate but whoever would have the most minority/sex/age/sexual preference/etc. cards to play.
    And what if there are less openings than candidates.Will the company be sued for not hiring all applicants if they are all “qualified”. Or will the employer or government have to pay them to sit home so they can not file suit?
    There are too many lawyers-this country must adopt “Loser Pays”!

    • Stoney

      I have been to most all the in and outs in southern Cali. Out of all of them I have seen one black teenager. Never have I seen a person even in their thirties let alone in their forties.

      I dont think the hiring has anything to do with racial preference. I do know for sure they prefer to hire younger more attractive people. Just like many other companies do. While I know it is wrong. Your serving burgers to different people daily. So for me I rather have a polite,cheerful young attractive female serving me. I am sure women enjoy being served by young attractive males regardless of race. This is the truth like it or not.

  • rick

    If I owned a business why I be told who I have to hire , my business I will hire who I want I’m tired of people who are after a quick buck by suing if they don’t get their way besides they were probably a couple of losers any way only showing up for a week then gone and suing for discrimination either way in and out would be getting sued

  • http://yahoo.com Bear

    I think In-N-Out is a quality business. I will be surprised if these claims aren’t baseless!

  • b

    its not race,but culture that is destroying america

  • kat

    In-n-out has always had a fast paced requirement, that I have in my lifetime never really saw anyone older then a certain age working there for that ONLY reason…I have seen black people work there,young ones that can keep up with the pace..This is NOT McDonald’s where service is slow. This place hires fast paced workers.There is NO way in the world they should ever dumb down their work force if the older guys can’t keep pace, with a VERY demanding fast paced jobs like this one..That is why they are so good with service and know how to do hamburgers..Anyone<– I see trying to take down this long time decent place,I consider to be a piece of ___,and needs to remove themselves from society. They are looking for a payday,and cannot face THEIR own failings… They need to deal with it. Young people are not equal with older people,PERIOD.Energy,and other obvious stuff is self evident.. They guy needs to leave them alone. LOSER

    • James

      I wonder how old you are because I’m almost 49 and I have worked fast paced jobs my whole life I am physically fit and can out work most people half my age a persons age dose not mean ther incapable of working a fast pace job people qualification are based on there individual qualification and experience not age race or sex. Not every one over 40 is old and fat

  • Shawn Santistevan

    I think they indeed discriminate for whatever reason they have, and this is coming from someone who is white. I live in a heavily-dominated Hispanic community and Caucasians are few and far between, and yet the local In-N-Out has managed to sniff out all the blonde hair and blue eyed kids with pale skin and hired them all up. Out of about 70 employees, about 7 are light-skin “white-washed” Hispanics, and the rest are white. No african americans, no asians, nothing else. Hell, not even white people with hair color other than blonde!

  • Lucas

    All i know because all of you old people, i struggle to get a first job….thanks

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