Overview: In Dateo v. Springfield BBQ LLC dba Famous Dave’s BBQ, the MCAD found in favor of the Complainant, awarding back pay and emotional distress damages after finding that the Complainant’s hours as a bartender and waiter were reduced and given to young women. The Complainant had decades of experience as a successful bartender and was hired by the Respondent restaurant when he was 48 years old. In an effort to “put a new face to the bar,” the Respondent altered the staff so that the bartenders and waitstaff consisted of the Complainant and six women who were all under 30 years old.
The Complainant successfully established a prima facie case of discrimination based on age and gender, and the Respondent failed to rebut the case because it declined to participate in the MCAD hearing. The Respondent similarly defaulted on the claim of retaliation. The hearing officer awarded lost wages for a 21-month period and emotional distress damages.