Posts Tagged ‘EEOC lawsuits’

In Deep: Mining Companies Excavate From Title VII Sex Discrimination Suits in $4.25M Settlement

Mach Mining & affiliated coal companies will pay $4.25 million to settle a pair of sex discrimination lawsuits, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today.

The EEOC has accused the companies of hiring practices that effectively excluded women from working in the underground mines and in other coal production positions.

Besides the hefty monetary settlement, the companies agreed to hiring goals that are expected to result in at least 34 women being hired into coal production jobs in their mines that operate in Illinois.

The case achieved some procedural notoriety when the companies appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court the issue of the standard by which courts were to determine whether EEOC had met its obligation to try to resolve cases before bringing suit.

In April 2015, the high court ruled that limited review was available regarding the adequacy of the commission’s conciliation efforts.

Now nearly two years later the case has settled and the female victims achieve some justice.

Read more about the lawsuits and settlement here.


Motel 6 Unlawfully Placed Pregnant Employee on Leave of Absence, EEOC Charges in Title VII Suit

Motel 6 goes by the slogan “we’ll keeps the lights on for ya” but for a pregnant employee at a Motel 6 in New Orleans the employment situation became very dim, according to a just-filed federal court lawsuit.

In a suit filed Aug. 31 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the hotel stands accused of forcing the employee to take a leave of absence because of her pregnancy.

As detailed in the lawsuit, Adrian Johnson, who worked at a New Orleans Motel 6, informed management that she was pregnant and that her pregnancy was considered high-risk.

On March 1, 2015, Johnson called her manager to inform him that she would be unable to work that day due to a pregnancy-related illness. The manager told Johnson that he was modifying the work schedule and taking her off the schedule for the entire week, despite the fact that she only needed one day off.

Six days later, Johnson attempted to call the manager to ask when she would be placed back on the schedule. Later that day, she received a text message from him stating that she was being placed on a leave of absence until her pregnancy was over. Johnson did not request to be placed on a leave of absence.

This violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because a worker is pregnant, the EEOC contends.

“This lawsuit should remind everyone unmistakably that federal law protects pregnant workers from such treatment,” said Jim Sacher, regional attorney for EEOC’s Houston District. “The fact that a manager would send a text explicitly suspending an employee because she is pregnant highlights the need for EEOC to continue its vigorous enforcement of pregnancy discrimination law – and that’s what we’ll do.”

If these allegations are true, then the motel would be wise to settle.

Let’s hope for the hotels sake this is an isolated incident and not evidence of hostility toward pregnant women throughout the chain.

6 Hospitality owns, operates and franchises over 1,300 economy lodging locations under the Motel 6 brand and the Studio 6 Extended Stay Brand. Headquartered in Dallas, G6 Hospitality employs more than 10,000 team members across the United States and Canada.

Here’s the EEOC’s announcement of the lawsuit.



Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits Filed By EEOC Against Two Companies Under Title VII

Two employers engaged in prohibited sex discrimination when they allowed the harassment of employees because of their sexual orientation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged in lawsuits announced today.

It’s the first time the EEOC has sued private sector employers for sexual orientation bias under Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition.

The defendants are Scott Medical Health Center located in Pennsylvania and IFCO Systems located in Maryland.

In its suit against Scott Medical Health Center, EEOC charged that a gay male employee was subjected to harassment because of his sexual orientation. The agency said that the male employee’s manager repeatedly referred to him using various anti-gay epithets and made other highly offensive comments about his sexuality and sex life. When the employee complained to the clinic director, the director responded that the manager was “just doing his job,” and refused to take any action to stop the harassment, according to the suit. After enduring weeks of such comments by his manager, the employee quit rather than endure further harassment.

In its suit against IFCO Systems, EEOC charged that a lesbian employee was harassed by her supervisor because of her sexual orientation. Her supervisor made numerous comments to her regarding her sexual orientation and appearance, such as “I want to turn you back into a woman” and “You would look good in a dress,” according to the suit. At one point, the supervisor blew a kiss at her and circled his tongue at her in a suggestive manner, EEOC alleged. The employee complained to management and called the employee hotline about the harassment. IFCO fired the female employee just a few days later in retaliation for making the complaints, EEOC charged.

As the federal law enforcement agency charged with interpreting and enforcing Title VII, EEOC has concluded that harassment and other discrimination because of sexual orientation is prohibited sex discrimination.

Here’s today’s announcement of the lawsuits.

EEOC Files Two More Pregnancy Bias Suits

Some employers apparently still aren’t getting the message that it’s illegal to fire a female employee because she is pregnant.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week filed two more pregnancy bias lawsuits under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

On Tuesday, the EEOC said it has sued Your Health Team, L.L.C. for violating federal law by firing a female home health aide because of her pregnancy. Your Health Team is a home health agency that provides nursing and home health care in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

According to the EEOC, Zanna Clore was told to obtain a doctor’s note after the employer learned of her pregnancy. Shortly thereafter, Clore provided Your Health Team with a release from her physician stating Clore could perform all job duties with the only limitation being that she should not lift or pull more than 25 lbs. Despite the medical release to work, the employer terminated her employment just minutes after she furnished the required note.

“This employer based its decision to abruptly end Ms. Clore’s employment because of her pregnancy instead of focusing on whether she could continue to perform the key job duties during the period of her maternity,” said Joel Clark, EEOC trial attorney.

On Wednesday, the EEOC said it has sued QSI Business Solutions, a Dalton, Georgia, staffing and temporary employment agency, accusing the company of violating federal law by refusing to hire or place for employment an applicant after learning that she was pregnant.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, QSI refused to place Layla Medeiros for employment with one of its clients after it learned of her pregnancy. When Medeiros was called in for an open position, QSI’s Staffing Coordinator saw Medeiros and asked if she was pregnant. When she confirmed that she was, the Staffing Coordinator told Medeiros that QSI could not hire or place her for the job opening because her pregnancy made her a safety risk. QSI then sent Medeiros away and did not call her for any future openings.

If you need a refresher on what federal law allows and doesn’t allow regarding pregnancy employees, here’s information from the EEOC’s web site.