Two black men from California filed a discrimination suit against In-N-Out Burger, alleging the restaurant chain refused to hire them because of their race and age.
The discrimination suit, filed Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that In-N-Out Burger engages in "a pervasive policy of discrimination on the basis of race, color and age" in its hiring processes, according to the Oakland Tribune.
The men, both over 40-years-old, claimed in the suit that In-N-Out Burger "recruits, hires and maintains a workforce that is predominantly under the age of 40 and/or non-African-American," the Tribune reported.
The men alleged that they were qualified for jobs they applied to at In-N-Out Burgers in Oakland and San Francisco, but the chain did not hire them.
In a statement, the Irvine, Calif., company denied the men's claims. "In-N-Out Burger does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race or age in our hiring policies or practices," Arnie Wensinger, the chain's vice president and general counsel, told the Oakland Tribune.
"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 Burger has 281 locations, mainly in California, according to the company's website.
The discrimination suit claims the company has "very few" employees who are either over 40, African American, or both.
In-N-Out Burger was established in 1948 in Baldwin, Calif., near Los Angeles, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The chain opened its first non-California restaurant in 1992, branching out into Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas.
The owners of In-N-Out are considered devout Christians who include Bible quotes on sandwich wrappers and drink cups, according to the Christian Science Monitor, citing this verse on milkshake cups from Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
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