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Lawsuit claims In-N-Out keeps out older and black applicants

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This post has been updated. Please see the details below.

A class action lawsuit filed this week accuses In-N-Out Burger of trying to keep black and older applicants out of its workforce.

Alonzo Brown and Carlos Dubose – both black Oakland residents over age 40 – said in the suit they were qualified for jobs at the fast food chain but were passed over due to their race and age.

The complaint, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that In-N-Out’s thousands of employees at its nearly 300 restaurants are “predominantly” young and not black.

Brown said that despite his “extensive years of experience,” he was denied a store associate position in August. Dubose was not hired for a cleanup associate post in July and overlooked for a store associate job in August.

The suit seeks back pay and monetary relief and an end to what plaintiffs call “systematic discriminatory hiring practices” at In-N-Out. The chain made more than $500 million in revenue in its last fiscal year, according to the complaint.

[Updated, Sept. 7, 11:05 a.m.: In-N-Out general counsel Arnie Wensinger denied the accusations, saying they "have no basis in fact" and that the restaurants where the plaintiffs applied "each have a workforce that is over 23% African American."

“In-N-Out Burger does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race or age in its hiring policies or practices," Wensinger said in a statement. "We hire from our local communities and our restaurants reflect the demographics of that community. The company will aggressively defend itself against these irresponsible allegations."]

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