Dec. 11, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A middle-aged Queens woman was told she was “too old” to work as a server at a Forest Hills eatery and was promptly let go after she was hired for the gig, according to a new lawsuit.
Mara Risa Newman, 51, said she was hired as a waitress at Dylan’s Forest Hills only to be told she couldn’t handle the job when she showed up for training, according to the lawsuit she filed in Queens Supreme Court Tuesday, the New York Post reported.
Newman, an event planner out of work, said she applied for the job on July 2 and was hired on the spot by the owner of Dylan’s, Brian Urbina.
When she showed up for training five days later, “Urbina sat her down and told her she was ‘too old’ for the position, which he had just days ago hired her for, and that the position was ‘beneath her,’” the court documents claim, according to the Post.
Newman said she was also discriminated against based on her gender. She argues in the suit that “Urbina told her that as a woman she would not be able to handle the rowdy men at Dylan’s in the evening.”
Newman told the New York Post that she had applied to thousands of jobs since she was out of work due to the pandemic. She said she was shocked when Urbina allegedly told her she wouldn’t be able to handle the eatery’s evening crowd because she was a woman.
However, Urbina told the Post that all Newman’s allegations are false.
He said he had asked Newman to submit a proposal for starting a catering service at the restaurant — given her experience as an event planner — but that she never followed through.
He added that his restaurant doesn’t have a bar area or rowdy crowds and that he has multiple older employees.
“I have older people working for me. It’s just not an issue,” he told the Post. “My reputation’s impeccable.”