Posts Tagged ‘settlement of lawsuit’

Target on Hook for $3.74M in Settlement Relating to Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring

If the sales floor at your Target store looks a bit monochromatic, perhaps assign blame to the company’s reliance on criminal background checks to screen job applicants.

Target Inc.’s use of criminal background checks to screen job applicants has come back to bite it. Black and Hispanic applicants who were screened out under this program will benefit from a nearly $4 million settlement of race claims related to this screening method.

The plaintiffs alleged that Target, which has performed background checks for jobs in the U.S. stores since 2001, “imported the racial and ethnic disparities” in the U.S. criminal justice system into its hiring, in part by disqualifying job applicants for convictions unrelated to the positions they sought.

Eligible blacks and Hispanics who were wrongly denied hourly and entry-level jobs since May 2006 will receive $1.2 million or “priority hiring.”  Per the settlement, experts will review Target’s guidelines for using criminal histories in hiring and help the retailer implement changes.

The settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Thursday requires a judge’s approval before it can go into effect.

Here’s guidance from the EEOC on Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know.

$105K Owed to Female Sales Rep at Calif. Company Who Was Paid Less Than Male Rep

It took a year for a California company to make good on its obligation to pay a female salesperson the same as her male counterpart.

Spec Formliners, Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based business, will pay $105,000 and provide other relief to settle an equal pay lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Wednesday.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, filed in November 2016, Spec Formliners paid a female sales representative less than a male sales representative in base pay. The EEOC also contended that the company required the female sales representative to sell more to earn the same commission as her male colleague.

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit on Nov. 17, 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. Spec Formliners, Inc., Case No. 8:16-cv-02066-BRO-AJW) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

As part of the consent decree settling the suit, Spec Formliners will pay $105,000 to the former employee. In addition to the monetary relief, Spec Formliners also agreed to retain external equal employment opportunity consultants who will assist the company in creating, reviewing and revising its policies and practices to ensure compliance with Title VII and the EPA. The external EEO consultants will also assist the company in conducting fair pay audits, reviewing and revising its recruitment practices, and preparing annual reports for the EEOC on the company’s progress. Spec Formliners further agreed to conduct anti-discrimination training and distribute the revised policies to all employees. The EEOC will monitor Spec Formliners’ progress with the 2.5-year decree.

“We commend Spec Formliners for agreeing to put measures in place that will help remove barriers for female sales representatives and ensure equal pay for equal work,” said Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Orange County in its jurisdiction. “Employees will do their best work when they know that their efforts are fairly compensated.”

Rosa Viramontes, director of the agency’s Los Angeles District Office, added, “The changes that will be implemented as part of this settlement will ensure that female sales representatives will receive fair compensation for sales equal to those of their male counterparts. This not only benefits female employees, but also the company as a whole.”

According to the company’s website,, Spec Formliners creates and customizes form liner patterns for concrete projects.

$65K Settlement in ADA, Title VII Suit Charging Bias in Black Disabled Employee’s Transfer

A Peoria, Ill., Chevrolet dealership will pay $65,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced on April 25.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Green Chevrolet violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by forcing an employee to transfer to a position that had never previously existed when the company learned that the employee was experiencing kidney failure and would require regular dialysis treatment. The EEOC also alleged that when the black employee resisted his transfer by explaining that he was healthy enough to continue working his sales advisor job and by asking why the company did not “get a white guy” to do the new job, the company fired him in retaliation for this opposition.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, entered by Judge Michael M. Mihm, Green Chevrolet will pay the former employee $65,000. In addition, the decree prohibits Green Chevrolet from engaging in disability discrimination or retaliation in the future. The decree also requires the company to train its managers about the requirements of the ADA and Title VII and to report complaints of disability or race discrimination to the EEOC.

“The EEOC is pleased that this employer has agreed to train its managers on the requirements of the ADA and Title VII,” said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago. “We always prefer to prevent discrimination from occurring in the first place, rather than trying to seek a fix after the fact.”

EEOC Regional Attorney Gregory Gochanour noted that the settlement was negotiated before the parties engaged in extended litigation or pretrial discovery.

Gochanour said, “We are gratified by Green’s determination to work with the EEOC to quickly resolve the case by providing compensation to its former employee and undertaking measures to assure future compliance with the ADA and Title VII. Early resolution of cases benefits everyone – the discrimination victims, the employers, the EEOC and the courts.”

Retaliation Settlement Sets Back Employer $45K

It’s going to cost California-based Desco Industries Inc. $45,000 to put behind it a lawsuit alleging it retaliated against a black employee who complained he was denied a fair shot at an open job.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit last year, announced the settlement today.

As I reported last summer, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that the around February 2015, the employee discussed his interest in a forklift position at the company’s North Carolina plant with Desco’s warehouse foreman.  Based on their discussion, the employee expected he was in line for the next open forklift position.  When he later saw a non-black employee operating a forklift, he believed Desco had passed him over for the position because of his race.

The employee complained to the staffing agency recruiter who notified Desco of his race discrimination complaint. Within days of learning about his complaint, Desco fired him in retaliation for complaining about discrimination.

As is standard with these settlements, Desco also must develop and implement an anti-retaliation policy and conduct annual training for supervisors and managers on Title VII’s prohibition against retaliation. Desco Industries must also post an employee notice about the lawsuit and provide periodic reports to the EEOC.

“Federal law protects those who come forward to report suspected employment discrimin­a­tion,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “The EEOC stands ready to enforce those protections.”

Here’s an EEOC refresher on Title VII’s prohibition of retaliation.


$175K Payment to Scorned Job Applicant Ends ADA Suit Against Washington’s Metro System

What with all its other woes–lack of support from surrounding jurisdictions, continuing safety issues, inconsistent service, declines in ridership–the last thing that Washington, D.C.’s subway system needed was a costly lawsuit.

So the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) did the smart thing and is settling an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of a Maryland man who alleged that his job offer with the agency was rescinded when it learned he had epilepsy.

According to court documents, the applicant, Bennie Vaughan, received a job offer for the position of elevator/escalator parts supervisor in My 2013, but it was withdrawn a month later.

To make the lawsuit go away, Metro will pay $175,000 to settle. WMATA also will institute new policies to ensure that employees and job applicants with disabilities have the opportunity to confer with WMATA about their limitations as well as opportunities for reasonable accommodation in the workplace, and will also ensure that supervisors are fully trained in those policies.

Here’s DOJ’s March 1 announcement of the settlement.

EEOC Settles Contempt Action Against Club

An adult entertainment club in Jackson, Mississippi treated its female employees badly and apparently snubbed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC announced today that it has settled a contempt action against Baby O’s Restaurant, dba Danny’s Downtown, a Jackson-based provider of adult entertainment services. The contempt action charged that Danny’s breached the terms of an agreement it entered into with the EEOC to resolve a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Danny’s subjected four African-American females to unlawful race discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC charged that black entertainers were subjected to a variety of less advantageous terms and conditions of employment than white ones. The misconduct included subjecting African-American entertainers to arbitrary fees and fines, forcing them to work on less lucrative shifts, and excluding them from company advertisements, all because of their race. The EEOC also charged that Danny’s retaliated against the entertainers by reducing their work hours when one of them engaged in activity protected by law, including filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The EEOC alleged the retaliation was so severe that one of the entertainers was forced to leave her employment.

Employer Out $110K in ADA Settlement Over Refusal to Hire, Accommodate Two Deaf Persons

A Texas cellphone repair facility will pay $110,000 to settle an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit stemming from its alleged denial of employment to hearing-impaired applicants because of their disability, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Thursday.

In its suit, the EEOC charged that Fort Worth-based S& B Industry also violated the ADA by by denying the two applicants a reasonable accommodation during the application process.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Katelynn Baker and Tia Rice applied for jobs with S&B Industry (also doing business as Fox Conn S&B) in the company’s cellphone repair facility. During a group interview, the two women used American Sign Language to communicate with one another, and the company became aware that they were hearing-impaired. In a meeting with one of the supervisors, Baker and Rice requested that the supervisor provide written information about the positions for which they were applying. The supervisor initially complied, but then refused to continue writing information for Baker and Rice, according to the suit. Baker and Rice were then told that S&B Industry would not hire them.

“Here were two excellent candidates for hire who demonstrated a great deal of courage by coming forward to report what happened to them,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Joel Clark. “We hope the settlement in this case will play a part in encouraging employers to eliminate barriers that keep deaf applicants from bringing their skills and talents to the workplace.”

To read more about the do’s and dont’s of hiring of persons with disabilities under the ADA, click here.