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Over 70 Ex-Employees To Sue Bowlero Over Discriminatory Firings 

Bowlero website on phone screen

Former employees are preparing to sue Bowlero after they were allegedly terminated based on their age or in retaliation.

The lawsuit comes after the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) closed its investigation into their discrimination claims. 

EEOC opened a probe in 2016 after more than 70 ex-employees claimed they were unfairly dismissed.

The staffers allege this was part of Bowlero’s strategy to revamp its "dingy" bowling alleys into high-end entertainment venues.

It is claimed this move allegedly favored younger workers.

Represented by attorney Daniel Dowe, the ex-employees allege they were terminated based on age or in retaliation.

Bowlero, the world's largest bowling center operator, has consistently denied the accusations.

The company owns which owns major brands like AMF and Lucky Strike.

It reported a near-tripling of its revenue to $1.06 billion over two years, saw its case concluded by the EEOC without a lawsuit.

On a recent earnings call, Bowlero announced the EEOC had issued Closure Notices.

EEOC has closed investigation but ex-employees are pressing ahead with legal action

This ended the longstanding investigations.

However, the EEOC clarified this does not absolve the company of any potential wrongdoing. 

The EEOC's letter indicated the closure does not certify Bowlero's compliance with the law and does not prevent the aggrieved parties from pursuing private lawsuits. 

CEO Thomas Shannon said: “Over eight-and-a-half years, the company has vigorously denied and contested the false allegations made against it.

“We are pleased to report these very positive developments on behalf of our shareholders.”

Mr Dowe plans to consolidate the allegations into a single lawsuit seeking significant monetary damages. 

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He said the EEOC had found reasonable cause in 58 complaints, signaling strong evidence of systematic age discrimination dating back to at least 2013. 

Bowlero, however, stands by its denial of any discriminatory practices.

The EEOC's inability to pursue every case due to limited resources often leaves the resolution of such disputes to private legal actions. 

In January 2023, the agency unsuccessfully attempted a $60 million settlement with Bowlero, emphasizing the scale of the allegations.

Dowe remains optimistic about the prospects of the upcoming federal lawsuit, which is slated to be filed by mid-July and seeks $80 million plus legal fees. 

He underscored the severity of age discrimination, pointing out its devastating impact on individuals nearing the end of their careers.

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