EEOC: Coca Cola Plant Favored Men Over Women for Vacant Jobs in Warehouse

A lot of media focus in sex discrimination of late has been in whether women can get a fair shot at advancement to top positions. But a lawsuit filed last week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shines a new spotlight on sexism on the factory floor.

The EEOC against the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Mobile, Alabama, says that it violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by hiring less qualified men over more qualified women for vacant warehouse positions.

EEOC’s suit alleged that Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Mobile, owned and operated by Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, and CC Beverage Packing, Inc. refused to hire Martina Owes, an applicant for two vacant warehouse positions, because she is female.

Although Owes had the required warehouse and forklift experience, the company chose to hire less qualified men for the available positions. EEOC also charged that by not preserving all application materials related to those positions, the company violated federal record-keeping laws.

It could be that this is one-off violation. Or the evidence might show that the plant doesn’t like hiring women to work on the warehouse floor. We’ll have to await the EEOC’s evidence to see if the problem is more widespread than a single female applicant.

However the lawsuit plays out, use this as an opportunity to review your hiring procedures to make sure that all employees and applicants get fair consideration of employment regardless of gender.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

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