Thank you for the information and your question. First, it is very important that you immediately hire an experienced employment law
firm that represents employers to assist you with this now that the other party has an attorney and the EEOC
may be involved. They will be able to gather all of the facts, including the facts as asserted from the other party, and determine what your best course of action is. However, if the facts were only as you presented them, then she would not ultimately win a law suit. In other words, if you have evidence that backs up your statements about a non-discriminatory reason for not retaining/hiring her, and there were no other such examples for the other bartenders that you retained, then she would not ultimately prevail. However, these cases can be protracted and expensive (legal fees), so your attorney may ultimately recommend you make a "nuisance" settlement offer in exchange for her release of any potential legal liability. The settlement amount in those cases usually isn't very much, just a few thousand dollars, and they make the case go away.
In the end though, I have no idea what facts she will assert and what evidence that she has about her termination
, so important that you have legal representation soon. If this goes to the EEOC, they will initially try to get you and this employee to mediate and settle. If that isn't successful, they will do an investigation and then decide whether or not to take the case and file suit themselves or issue her a "right to sue" letter and then she would have to file suit or let it go.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.