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

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.

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Though One Fair Wage filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against one specific company, the organization hopes to end sub-minimum wage for all tipped workers, not just at Darden restaurants.

One Fair Wage has filed an EEOC complaint against Olive Garden’s parent company Darden Restaurants, Inc. (iStock)

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Currently, the federal government allows tipped employees to be paid less than minimum wage — in some places, tipped workers are paid as little as $2.13 an hour, according to One Fair Wage.

According to the organization, allowing a sub-minimum wage means that women — particularly women of color — end up being paid less because of bias.

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One Fair Wage reportedly decided to file the EEOC complaint against  Darden because it, along with the National Restaurant Association, have “actively lobbied to maintain the sub-minimum wage,” The Post reported.

“I am not saying that Darden is much worse than the rest of the industry,” One Fair Wage President Saru Jayaraman told The Post. “I’m saying they’re emblematic, and they’re a leader in maintaining these standards. I think what we’re filing today is very, frankly, symptomatic of the whole industry. It’s just that Darden is a particularly clear example of what this industry has not just tolerated, but perpetuated for too long.”

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Darden spokesperson Rich Jeffers told FOX Business that the company has “one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry” and that its tipped employees earn more than $20 per hour on average.

“We have an industry-leading team member experience,” he said in a statement.

According to The Post, if the EEOC finds that the complaint “has merit,” One Fair Wage will be allowed to sue Darden in state or federal court.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DRI DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC. 100.74 -0.06 -0.06%

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

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 based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”

Rich Jeffers, a senior director of communications for Darden, which includes such national chains as Olive Garden and the Capital Grille, said “these allegations are baseless” in a statement to The Washington Post. “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.”

One Fair Wage pursued its latest legal strategy on tipping after discovering a research paper written by an attorney who was pursuing a graduate degree at Harvard Law School. The paper made the argument that the sub-minimum wage violates the Civil Rights Act, based on tipping research conducted by, among others, professor Michael Lynn of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

The paper “resonated so strongly with what we had heard from workers for so long,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage and a graduate of Yale Law School. It also fit into the larger cultural movement of many Americans coming to grips with the country’s long history of racial inequality.


(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The group decided to put the legal theory into practice by filing its complaint against Darden with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. In the past, the organization has helped put forth successful ballot initiatives to eliminate the two-tiered minimum wage in several jurisdictions, including Michigan and Washington, D.C., only to have them undermined by legislatures and city councils. In 2018, the D.C. Council repealed Initiative 77, which passed with 55 percent of the vote and would have gradually eliminated the two-tiered system in the city.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating when legislators overturn the will of the people, not just in D.C., but in Michigan and Maine. We won it in all three places,” said Jayaraman. “I will say that the fact that we keep winning and the legislators have to keep overturning it should be a clear indication that there’s overwhelming public

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House Insurance Quotes Online: Info You Need to Know About Homeowners Policies

Your home is supposed to be your safe haven – where you can leave in peace, create memories with family, sleep, eat, and simply live. What if something expected happens one day and you become displaced or even homeless overnight? It's happened to many people before, and it can happen to you. Increase the chances of getting through such a situation and being able to fix your home up as good as new by choosing the best insurance policy possible for your needs. You can begin your search by looking for house insurance quotes online.

Sophisticated tools can be used to help you find and compare multiple policies, rates, and options. You can sort through all of the offers to find the best deal possible on the coverage you need. All of the information is available right at your fingertips. A few factors that affect the types of quotes you receive include the value of the home (which changes with age), the local housing market, any renovation / remodeling you've done, the weather in your area, crime rate, property, your credit history, etc.

What to Look for in House Insurance Quotes Online

Here are a few things you need to know about homeowners policies before searching for house insurance quotes online:

• The condition of your home. Have you been doing regular maintenance? Are all of the essential components (plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning) working properly and up to code? If anything needs updated, it might be a good time to do it. Some insurance companies even give discounts for upgrades.

• Don't forget about the condition of the yard. Get rid of any potential hazards that somebody can trip over. Keep up with maintaining the lawn.

• Do you have security items installed, like a smoke detector, alarm, camera, padded locks, secured windows, and survival essentials? The more difficult it is for the elements to damage your home, and for thieves to steal anything, the bigger the discount you can qualify for.

• The amount of valuables within the home you want to protect and how much they are worth. This includes everything from furniture and appliances to antiques and jewelry.

Note: Don't insure your home at market value, but at replacement value. How much will it cost to have everything built from scratch in the event that the current home is utterly destroyed?

Now that you understand homeowners insurance a little better, it's time to get started with house insurance quotes online . Lemonade is a good choice as it has a high rating, grade of A- in "financial strength", and has a unique payout policy. It's available in most states.

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Buy House Insurance: An Overview of HO3 Policies and Online Insurance Providers

There are so many home / property insurance providers these days that it can seem a bit confusing for even those who are more knowledgeable about the industry. Whether this is your first time trying to buy house insurance, or you've done it in the past and want to look for a better policy, you'll need to decide whether you want to shop around for quotes yourself or have a broker to help you.

The first step is to figure out exactly what kind of homeowner's policy you require and what type of coverage (s) you need. Some of the things that are usually standard in insurance policies ("HO3 Homeowners Policy") include dwelling coverage, coverage of other structures on your property (garage, storage building, swimming pools, etc.), and certain items that are inside your home . This kind of policy can also cover instances when you have to stay elsewhere because your home because uninhabitable for reasons such as extreme weather damage, rodent infestation, broken pipes / flooded basement, etc.

The location will play an important role in rates when you buy house insurance. It's just a given that some geographical locations are more expensive to live in than others. Those who live in a rural area with a low-crime rate, for instance, will almost always pay less for insurance than those who live in an urban area susceptible to crimes.

Buy House Insurance With a Known Policy Limit

In order to get an idea of ​​how much your policy limit is going to be for dwelling coverage, you'll need to determine the build price of the home, or your home's "replacement value". If you have to rebuild your entire home, how much will it cost? It might be a good idea to consult with contractors, roofing companies, builders, etc. to help you with the calculations.

If you want to protect certain valuables such as jewelry, antiques, art collections, etc …, don't just assume it will be covered in the policy. In many instances, you'll have to add "riders" to the policy. Also known as an "endorsement", these riders allow you to add coverage beyond what the standard insurance policy offers.

Today's homeowners really don't have to stick with the traditional insurance companies. There are some online companies that offer unique approaches that include "flat fee" and "giveback" services.

One A-rated online company you can buy house insurance from is Lemonade. It does offer a "flat fee" model, and is known for paying out claims superfast. It's also reinsured by some of the top reinsurers in the industry. Check out some Lemonade discounts right now to learn how you can get good, affordable home insurance.

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