Posts Tagged ‘sex discrimination’

No Gold for Woman at This Mine: She Was Denied Promotion Due to Gender, EEOC Says

Women in nontraditional fields must have an equal shot at advancement.

Alaska-based Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo, LLC, violated federal law when it failed to promote a qualified employee because of her sex and instead retaliated against her, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed September 26.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, when Hanna Hurst began working as a Level 1 underground miner in 2007 at Pogo Mine, owned and operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo, LLC, she was the only female underground miner in her crew at the remote worksite. In 2012, when Hurst began to actively seek advancement from Level 4 to Level 5, she was denied promotion while male colleagues with less seniority or training advanced. When Hurst pointed out the discrepancy in treatment, Pogo retaliated by imposing additional training requirements on Hurst that were not required of male miners promoted to Level 5.

Sex discrimination and retaliation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska (Case No. 4:18-cv-00034-JWS), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages on behalf of Hurst, and injunctive relief which typically includes training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the worksite, and compliance reporting. Hurst is also represented by the non-profit Equal Rights Advocates.

“Hannah Hurst loved her job, and she worked hard to meet its rigorous challenges,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney May Che. “Despite being eligible for promotion for over two years, she never received the advancement that she earned. The EEOC is here to fight for the rights of people like Ms. Hurst.”

Nancy Sienko, director of the EEOC’s Seattle Field Office, said, “There is no legitimate explanation for why Ms. Hurst was held back while male miners with less seniority or training were allowed to progress to Level 5. Employers are required to provide all employees with equal employment opportunities.”

EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney Roberta Steele added, “The EEOC will vigorously prosecute cases of gender discrimination to ensure that women in all fields, including non-traditional trades, have a level playing field and the same opportunities for advancement as their male peers.”

According to its website, http://pogominealaska.com/, Pogo is an underground gold mine operation in Alaska with over 300 employees that is owned and operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC, a joint venture between two Tokyo-based corporations, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd (SMM) and Sumitomo Corporation.

EEOC Cites N.Y.-Based Materials Company for “Ugly Mix” of Sexism, Racism, and Xenophobia

This workplace is a noxious stew of lots of abominable behavior toward women and minorities, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Porous Materials, Inc. (PMI), an Ithaca, N.Y.-based operator and manufacturer of testing equipment for porous materials, subjected its employees to an ugly mix of sexism, racism, and xenophobia and violated federal law prohibiting harassment and retaliation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed September 17.

The EEOC charges that a plant manager used racial slurs, called foreign-born employees “terrorists,” and told the only black employee that her husband should work in a cotton field with a rope around his neck. He then told her to drink Kool-Aid to calm down and fired her for complaining about his racist statements. He also complained that he was “sick” of immigrants stealing American jobs and not speaking English, forbade employees from speaking other languages, and urged immigrant employees to leave America.

The EEOC’s suit also charges that the plant manager was similarly abusive toward women: he loudly called women “bitches,” complained about their “PMS’ing,” and said that women could not perform a “man’s job.” He told a woman she would have to “come over here and sexually harass me” to be sent home early; made other unwanted sexual advances; said a woman was too “fat and disgusting” to have sex with her husband; and commented on female employees’ “buns” and “curves.” The company owner, rather than putting a stop to this, behaved similarly; he called female employees “dumb women,” complained that “these women can’t do anything,” and told a woman she would not be getting a raise because of her sex.

All this alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination-including harassment-because of sex, national origin or race, as well as retaliation.

The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (EEOC v. Porous Materials, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-01099) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief. The agency’s litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Daniel Seltzer and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.

“Businesses may think that permitting sex-, race- and national origin-based harassment in the workplace is acceptable,” said Seltzer. “It isn’t, and those who do so will be held accountable.”

Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office, added, “Employers cannot ignore harassment, let alone fire employees who report it. If employers fail to protect their workers, the EEOC will.”

According to Kevin Berry, the EEOC’s New York district director, “Preventing harassment and protecting immigrant workers are EEOC priorities that will continue to be pursued vigorously.”

The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Buffalo Local Office conducted the investigation resulting in this lawsuit.

Bad Menu: Men Barred From Server Jobs at So. Calif. Burger Restaurant, EEOC Charges in Suit

The federal government has a legal beef against this restaurant that refused to hire men.

Burgers & Beer, a chain of Southern California restaurants, violated federal law when it denied males with the same employment opportunities as their female counterparts, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in lawsuit filed August 30.

The EEOC contends that since at least 2015, male applicants and employees were disqualified from server positions based on sex. The company routinely rejected male applicants for those positions and maintained a server workforce that was over 90 percent female, the EEOC charged.

Such action violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Case No. 3:18-cv-02014-DMS-NLS) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking injunctive relief to prohibit Burgers & Beer from engaging in future unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for the victims.

“We encourage employers to examine their hiring practices to ensure their decisions comply with federal law,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County.

Christopher Green, director of the EEOC’s San Diego’s Local Office, added, “Denying someone the chance to compete for a job simply because of their gender violates federal law – even if the employer presumes customers would prefer to be surrounded by female servers. Presumed preferences are no excuse for any kind of discrimination. The EEOC will continue to pursue the eradication of this type of unlawful behavior.”

According to its website, www.burgersandbeer.com, the company has six casual dining locations, specializing in high-quality burgers, throughout California’s Imperial Valley.

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, gender, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

Suit Against Auto Dealer Ends With $150K Settlement For Female Ex-Assistant Manager

Here’s another Florida car dealership that allegedly ran afoul of employment discrimination laws in its treatment of women.

AutoNation-owned dealership, Abraham Chevrolet-Miami, Inc., which does business in Coral Gables, Fla. under the name “AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables,” will pay $150,000.00 to its former assistant parts manager to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced August 22.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Jacqueline de la Torre worked her way up from a clerical position to assistant parts manager – a title she held for approximately 10 years. When the parts manager position became vacant, AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables didn’t allow her to apply and, instead, hired a less qualified male and required de la Torre to train him. When she complained, upper management acknowledged she was the most qualified candidate, but told her the position “needed a man.”

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s sex. The EEOC filed suit against AutoNation (Case No.1:17-cv-23550-RNS) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, the general managers of two AutoNation-owned dealerships in the Miami business market must deliver live executive messages to their workforces regarding the importance of equal employment opportunity and diversity, including sex diversity in hiring and promotion and to ensure equal opportunity employer language is included on all job postings for their Parts and Service Department management positions. The decree also requires annual training for those general managers as well as management and employees in the dealerships’ Parts and Service Departments for three years covering sex-neutral and non-discriminatory recruiting, interviewing, and hiring and training on how to avoid stereotypes, including sex-based and gender-role stereotypes, among other topics. AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables will report annually to EEOC on applicants for management positions in its Parts and Service Department and on its hiring decisions. Both dealerships will post notices for the duration of the decree reminding employees of their rights enforced by the EEOC.

“Employers in traditionally male-dominated professions must make the workplace safe for all employees to compete for promotions on a fair and level playing field, without regard to gender,” said EEOC’s Miami District Office Regional Attorney, Robert E. Weisberg. “We believe this resolution will help dispel misguided unlawful gender based stereotypes.”

Michael Farrell, district director for the EEOC’s Miami District Office, added, “The EEOC will continue to vigorously investigate allegations of gender discrimination to ensure women in professions that may have once been perceived as traditionally male will be treated equally in consideration for hire and promotion.”

The EEOC’s Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

EEOC: Woman at Car Dealership Passed Over For Promotion Repeatedly in Violation of Title VII

Women couldn’t break the glass ceiling at this Florida car dealership, according to federal regulators.

Ferman Automotive Group and Cigar City Motors, which owns and operates the Tampa Harley-Davidson dealership and other car and motorcycle dealerships in the Tampa Bay area, violated federal law by failing to promote a female sales manager to numerous vacant general manager positions because of her sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on August 20.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Ferman repeatedly promoted males to vacant general manager positions even though a female general sales manager expressed an interest in the vacancies and was equally or more qualified than the male candidates. Ferman required her to participate in a “mentorship” program to be eligible for promotion. The male job candidates promoted to the positions did not have the same requirement.

Sex discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit against Ferman Automotive Group (and affiliated entities) (8:18-cv-2055-T-35CPT) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC seeks monetary and injunctive relief to address the discriminatory practices.

“Although Title VII was passed more than 50 years ago, women nationwide continue to be passed over for promotion because of their sex or gender. This contributes to the gender wage gap and affects a woman’s ability to provide for themselves and their families,” said Robert E. Weisberg, Regional Attorney for the Miami District Office. “The law is clear-employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sex and they must provide a level playing field for all employees to compete for management positions.”

The EEOC’s Tampa Field Director Evangeline Hawthorne added, “The EEOC has long fought to protect women from hitting the glass ceiling in all professions and from the outdated stereotypes about women in leadership which continue to persist. EEOC will continue to enforce the law to ensure that employers afford women the same promotional opportunities as men.”

EEOC Calls Balk on Maryland Private School; Alleges Male Coach Ousted Due to His Sex

In baseball, a balk occurs when a pitcher makes an illegal move. According to the EEOC, a private school in Maryland made such an illegal move against its male softball coach.

Park School of Baltimore Inc., a private school in Pikesville, Md., violated federal law when it refused to renew the employment contract of a male softball coach because it preferred female leadership, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced July 30.

The EEOC charges that the Park School hired a male as a head softball coach in the spring of 2014, and renewed his employment contract as a head softball coach in 2015 and 2016.  In 2017, however, the Park School told him that it would not renew his contract for the 2017 softball season because of its “preference for female leadership.”  According to the suit, the Park School did not renew the coach’s employment contract, despite his satisfactory job performance, because he is a male.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Park School of Baltimore Inc., Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-02319-RDB) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary, pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said, “Title VII protects both men and women from discrimination based on sex. The law is clear–employers should make employment decisions based on the employee’s qualifications, not gender.”

The EEOC’s Baltimore Field Office is one of four offices in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

$3.2M to Settle EEOC Sex Bias Case Against CSX; Strength Testing Requirement Also Goes

You might soon see more women in railroad jobs typically held by men.

CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) will pay $3.2 million and furnish other relief to settle a company-wide sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced June 13.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, CSXT conducted isokinetic strength testing as a requirement for workers to be hired for various jobs. The EEOC said that the strength test used by CSXT, known as the “IPCS Biodex” test, caused an unlawful discriminatory impact on female workers seeking jobs as conductors, material handler/clerks, and a number of other job categories. The EEOC also charged that CSXT used two other employment tests, a three-minute step test seeking to measure aerobic capacity and a discontinued arm endurance test, as a requirement for selection into certain jobs, and that those tests also caused an unlawful discriminatory effect on female workers.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including the use of tests that are administered to all applicants and employees regardless of sex but that cause a discriminatory effect or impact on persons of a particular sex or any other demographic category. Employers using such tests must prove that those practices are necessary for safe and efficient performance of the specific jobs for which the tests are used. Even if this necessity is proven, such tests are prohibited by Title VII if it is shown that there are alternative practices that can achieve the employers’ objectives but have a less discriminatory effect.

The EEOC originally filed the lawsuit (U.S. EEOC v. CSX Transportation, Inc. Case No. 3:17-cv-03731) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in Huntington on Aug. 1, 2017. The EEOC and CSXT agreed to settle the EEOC’s disparate impact claims before any ruling by the federal court. The EEOC did not allege any intentional discrimination by CSXT in this case.

The consent decree settling the EEOC’s lawsuit, which has received approval by the federal court, requires CSXT to cease the physical abilities testing practices that the EEOC charged were causing a disparate impact against female workers. The decree also requires CSXT to pay $3.2 million into a settlement fund to pay lost wages and benefits to a class of women in over 20 states who were denied positions because of the testing. Under the decree, CSXT must also retain expert consultants to conduct scientific studies before adopting certain types of physical abilities testing programs for use in its hiring.

“We commend CSX Transportation for working collaboratively with the EEOC to address our concerns about the railroad’s physical abilities testing program,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “The company’s willingness to confer with the EEOC about the agency’s concerns and its agreement to cease the testing practices at issue reflect a corporate commitment to gender diversity and inclusion that will benefit both workers and the company.”

EEOC Pittsburgh Area Office Director Roosevelt Bryant said, “Railroad and other transportation occupations provide excellent career opportunities for women when sex-based barriers to their participation in those jobs are removed. The EEOC is committed to ensuring that all workers have an equal opportunity for hiring and advancement in such work.”

EEOC District Director Jamie R. Williamson said, “The EEOC will continue to carefully examine employer testing and screening practices to identify those that operate as systemic barriers to employment based on protected characteristics. Workers who believe they are being subjected to the discriminatory effects of such practices should bring them to the attention of the EEOC.”

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women and persons with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan.

According to company information, CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation’s leading transportation suppliers. CSX’s principal operating company, CSX Transportation, provides an important link to the transportation supply chain through its approximately 21,000 route-mile rail network, which serves major population centers in 23 states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. CSX serves more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. CSX also serves thousands of production and distribution facilities through connections to more than 240 short line and regional railroads.

The lawsuit was commenced by the EEOC’s Pittsburgh Area Office, one of four component offices of the agency’s Philadelphia District Office. The Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys of the Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.