Why Outback Steakhouse Owes Millions of Dollars to Thousands of Women

December 2009

OSI Restaurant Partners LLC will pay $19 million to settle a class-action lawsuit emanating from Colorado, which alleges sex discrimination against thousands of women at hundreds of its Outback Steakhouse restaurants. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed in federal court in 2006, claiming Outback also denied women equal opportunities for advancement to management positions, according to ABC News. OSI, which also operates Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, points out that the settlement doesn't include a finding of fault by Outback. The suit claims that managers made disparaging comments about female workers. Tom Flanagan, a joint venture partner, allegedly said female managers who had children had "let him down" and "lost focus," writes 7News. He also allegedly said he wanted "cute girls" to work in the front as servers.