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EEOC Lawsuits and Settlements in May 2018

2018-05-22

EEOC continues to be aggressive with the filing of six lawsuits and settling eight suits

Summary of Lawsuits

  • Cooper Machine Company [May 17] – EEOC lawsuit alleges that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by terminating a purchasing agent after informing the CFO that she was required to take medication because of her disability.
  • Staffing Solutions [May 17] – Suit alleges that the owner frequently used racial slurs, instructed her staff to comply with client’s race and sex preferences, placed employees in positions based on race and sex, rejected pregnant applicants and forced out a manager who opposed the hiring practices.
  • Aviation Port Services [May 7] – EEOC alleges that six Muslim female employees were fired after the company refused to allow them to continue wearing long shirts to work.  All of the women worked as passenger service agents and wore long skirts in accordance to their religious beliefs but were told in 2016 that they had to start wearing either company provided pants or knee-length skirts.
  • Albertsons, Inc. [May 3] – Suit alleges that in late 2012 the company prohibited and publicly reprimanded Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish around non-Spanish speakers, including when they spoke to Spanish-speaking customers and during breaks.
  • Value Village [May 3] – EEOC alleges that the company refused to accommodate an employee with COPD and Emphysema and forced her to resign.  The employee requested to transfer to a less strenuous position.
  • Simmons Security [May 3] – EEOC alleges that the company hired the claimant to work as an unarmed security guard patrolling on foot and by bicycle without knowing that she was pregnant.  After discovering her pregnancy, they fired her claiming that it wasn’t “safe” even though she was medically able to perform the job.

Summary of Settlements by type

AgeSeason 52 [May 3] – agreed to pay $2.85 million to applicants age 40 and older who were denied front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house positions at 35 restaurants throughout the country.  Over 135 applicants swore that managers asked them their age or made age-related comments during their interview. The company also hired older applicants at a significantly lower rate.

Disability
  • Heritage Home Group [May 22] – agreed to pay $50k for failing to provide a machine operator an accommodation for complications to his diabetes.  After developing an infection and undergoing surgery for amputation of one of his toes, he was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and needed additional leave to recover fully.  The company terminated him for failing to return to work when requested.
  • M.G. Oil (Happy Jack’s Casino] [May 18] – agreed to pay $45k for withdrawing an offer of employment to an applicant based on a drug test showing the lawful presence of a prescribed medication.
  • Foothills Child Development Center [May 15] – entered into a five-year consent decree and agreed to pay $5k to a terminated employee after he disclosed his participation in a supervised medication-assisted treatment program.
Equal PayUniversity of Denver [May 17] – agreed to pay $2.66 million and increase salaries of female full professors who were paid on average $19,781 less than their male counterparts.  The University declined to take corrective action after formally recognizing the significant pay disparity in a 2013 memo.

Sex DiscriminationThe Children’s Home [May 2] – agreed to pay $18k to a male employee who it refused to consider for a position in its maternity home program. The employee also alleged that the company prevented him from applying to any other positions. 

Sexual Harassment
  • Dollar General [May 22] – agreed to pay $70k to a female sales associate who received unwanted sexually laced text messages and gestures.  Company ignored previous complaints against same manager from other females.  Enjoins other stores in the district from future sexual harassment violations and requires mandatory sexual harassment training.
  • Goodwill Industries and Calidad Industries [May 10] – agreed to pay $850k to eight former and current employees who faced routine sexual harassment by their direct supervisor.  The claimants were young women with developmental disabilities.  Two managers were disciplined in retaliation for supporting the harassment claims and one was compelled to resign.

In addition to the above activity, EEOC continues to seek class members for the following ongoing lawsuits:
  • United Parcel Service – alleged discrimination based on religion
  • Bass Pro – alleged failure to hire African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos
  • Texas Roadhouse – alleged failure to hire people age 40 and older for front-of-the-house positions
  • Lowe’s Home Centers – alleged disability discrimination
  • Federal Express Ground Package System – alleged disability discrimination against current and former deaf and hard-of-hearing Package Handlers
  • Performance Food Group – alleged failure to hire woman
  • USPS – alleged disability discrimination against federal employees in permanent rehabilitation positions.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.