Articles Posted in Gender Discrimination

Published on:

Vamco Sheet Metals, Inc. Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $215,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Construction contractor Vamco Sheet Metals, Inc., pays $215,000 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“),on behalf of four discrimination victims. According to published accounts, female sheet metal workers were fired for pretextual reasons, some after just a few days of work. A pretexual reason means the company made up a reason to fire the women and they were really fired because the company did not want any female workers.

Additionally, the women were treated unfavorably compared to men, including being assigned menial tasks like fetching coffee and having their breaks monitored. One new mother was denied a clean private place to pump breast milk. This type of activity resulted in this large settlement and should send a message to other employers. You may not treat women differently than men in the workplace.

“These women had decades of experience as skilled sheet metal workers,” said EEOC Attorney Robert D. Rose.

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: and
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

Food Rite Community Supermarket Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Lee’s Food Corp., doing business as Food Rite Community Super­market pays $10,500 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) after initial settlement discussions failed. According to published accounts, Food Rite refused to hire Deborah Newell for a vacant part-time courtesy van driver position because of her gender. An employer may not make a hiring determination based on a persons gender. Both genders are to be treated equally under the law.

In October 2012, Newell saw an online job advertisement for a part-time courtesy driver position at the Food Rite Community Supermarket. Newell met all the job’s qualifications, and went to the Food Rite to apply for the position. Once inside the supermarket she spoke to the store manager about her interest in the vacant driver position. The manager told Newell that he would not hire a woman for the courtesy van driver position out of concern that a female driver would be at greater risk of being assaulted on the job than a male driver. The position ended up being filled by a male.

“Denying a qualified applicant a job because of her sex is unjust and unlawful, no matter if the discrimination results from a concern’ for women’s safety.” said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: and
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

Royal Tire, Inc. Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $182,500

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Royal Tire, Inc. pays $182,500 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts, between January 2008 and June 2011, Royal Tire discriminated against its female human resources director, Christine Fellman-Wolf, by paying her lower wages than it paid a male employee who held the very same position. There are times that two people holding the same position may get different wages. For example, if one has more education or more experience.

However in this case, the facts showed that when Fellman-Wolf became HR director she was paid $35,000 less per year than her male predecessor, and $19,000 less than the minimum salary for the position under Royal Tire’s own compensation system. Fellman-Wolf complained about the disparity and asked to be compensated fairly, but Royal Tire did not make up the difference. This is a classic case of gender-based discrimination. I am glad to see the company had to pay to settle this case. These types of case are also called glass ceiling cases. That just means as women try to reach the top ranks of the company they are either denied or paid so much less they stop trying to achieve these types of positions.

“Too many employers appear to think that it’s enough just to let women in the door, and that no one is going to notice if the money in their pay envelope is less than men’s who are doing the same work.” Said EEOC attorney John Hendrickson

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: and
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

Goodwill Industries Pays $100,000 To Settle Retaliation Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Goodwill Industries pays $100,000 to settle a

Published on:

Winebrenner Transfer, Inc. Settles Retaliation Lawsuit For $42,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Winebrenner Transfer, Inc., pays $42,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“), after initial settlement talks broke down. According to published accounts, Tina Thompson, a truck driver, believed she was paid less than male drivers based on discussions she had with her male co-workers about differences in compensation. You are not allowed to pay men and women different based solely on their gender. If you do it is called gender discrimination.

Thompson complained several times about perceived pay discrimination based on her gender. The company’s owner fired Thompson one day after she sent him a text message saying she believed she was paid less than male co-workers for the same work because she was female. Because the firing occurred within such a short period of time of the complaining, it seems like it was done in retaliation.

“Addressing gender-based pay discrimination and eliminating employment practices that discourage individuals from exercising their rights under our statutes are two of the agency’s national priority issues,” said EEOC Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “

Published on:

Ventura Corporation Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $354,250

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Ventura Corporation settles a gender discrimination lawsuit for $354,250. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) after initial settlement talks failed. According to published accounts the company engaged in a pattern or practice of refusing to hire men as Zone Managers and Support Managers. This is an unusual gender discrimination case as it involved discrimination against men. In this case Ventura promoted Erick Zayas into a Zone Manager position after he complained about its discriminatory practices, only to set him up for failure and termination in retaliation for his opposition to Ventura’s sex-based hiring practices.

Once the company was involved in litigation, it did some things that were not proper. The company was responsible for the loss or destruction of a great deal of critical evidence supporting the case. The disappeared evidence included job applications from qualified male applicants for the positions at issue and e-mails from key decision makers. This is referred to as the spoliation of evidence. Usually, an attorney will send out a preservation of evidence letter once the case starts. In this case the EEOC asked the court to award sanctions against the company based on the apparent destruction of evidence. This helped settle the case.

“This case is another reminder that federal law protects both men and women from gender discrimination.” said EEOC Attorney Robert E. Weisberg

Published on:

What Is A Hostile Work Environment?

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So my Chicago office gets this call more than any other. What exactly is a hostile work environment in Illinois? In fact many people think they are in a hostile work environment and under the law they aren’t. In short, in order to be in a hostile work environment in Illinois you must be the victim of discrimination as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act“). The Act lists all of the categories of discrimination. Under the Act if you are the victim of one of those categories you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“).

So what does this have to do with the hostile work environment? Well, if you are being discriminated against at work you are then in a hostile work environment. So if you are being singled out because you are a female, you would be the victim of gender discrimination which could make your workplace hostile. However, there is no general hostile work environment in Illinois. So if the boss yells at you but also yells at everyone else, you are not being singled out and therefore you probably don’t have a case. It is important to get the facts of your particular situation in front of a lawyer and get his advice.

Published on:

EEOC Settles Unequal Pay Discrimination Lawsuit For $125,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) settled a gender discrimination lawsuit against Harmony Public Schools for $125,000. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Nicole M. Tuchscherer, a former teacher at Harmony Science Academy. Tuchscherer taught art at the school for five years and was making $40,000 in her fifth year. The problem was Harmony paid an uncertified male art teacher with no previous teaching experience an annual salary of $44,000 to teach art. This lawsuit illustrates an unequal pay case involving the difference in pay between men and women in the workplace.

According to published accounts, during an annual salary negotiation meeting with the school principal, Tuchscherer asked Harmony to pay her a salary equal to that of male teachers. At that meeting,Tuchscherer also told Principal Halit Erdogdu that she believed Harmony discriminates against women in compensation. After hearing this the principal became angry with her for raising these issues and called her unprofessional and negative. Two weeks later, Harmony Public Schools informed Tuchscherer that her teaching contract had not been renewed.

“The EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan has made sex-based wage discrimination a national enforcement priority.” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez

Published on:

Extended Stay Hotels Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $75,800

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Extended Stay Hotels pays $75,800 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of Latoya Weaver. The basis of the lawsuit is that female workers were paid less money than their male counterparts based solely on their gender.

According to published accounts Extended Stay Hotels paid Latoya Weaver less than male guest services representatives, including some newly hired male guest services representatives. Additionally, Extended Stay Hotels unlawfully paid other female employees lower wages than those paid to male employees for performing equal work.

“Remedying gender-based pay discrimination is a priority issue of the EEOC. It is a matter of fundamental fairness that women should be paid the same wages as men when they are doing equal work.” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: and
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

EEOC Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $65,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

WMK, Inc., doing business as Mobility Works, settled a discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) for $65,000. The lawsuit was filed after initial settlement discussions failed. The EEOC alleged the company engaged in gender discrimination when it unlawfully terminated a top female sales associate because of her gender. Even though the female worker was fired, the male sales associate with significantly less sales was kept on. A company may not treat a worker different based solely on the gender of the employee. In cases like this, a comparison is performed on all employees to see if anything discriminatory can be found. This type of activity is bad for morale and ends up costing the company money and bad publicity.

You must realize that the issues associated with discrimination are tricky. Should you complain and risk getting fired? Should you call the company hotline and make an anonymous complaint? What you end up doing could end up costing your job. It is wise to speak with an employment attorney who regularly handles such questions and circumstances. There are certain ways to handle this type of activity and methods to ensure you have the best evidence possible if you decide to come forward with a complaint. Due to the economic circumstances in the country today and the global market mindset, many companies would rather fire a worker they perceive as a troublemaker. It is sad that companies view a good employee trying to free herself from discrimination as a troublemaker but that is the reality. In order to best protect your interests, a good solid game plan is required. This is where my office can help and provide you with a roadmap of what to do.

So what proactive things can you do at work to better ensure your case will be successful? For starters, make sure you save emails and text messages that show a disparity in treatment between yourself and male co-workers. Try to document the education level and work history of all of the workers. It would be helpful if you can show that females are paid less or given less chance at promotion even though they have the same or better qualifications. Another important item is to try and feel out the attitude of co-workers who may have information helpful to you. It is hard for a co-worker to come forward because they don’t want to lose their job. However, under the right circumstances workers will come forward and be helpful to your case. I can help you achieve this and show you how best to approach a co-worker.

Finally, what impact will filing a claim of discrimination have on your work prospects going forward? Well depending on where the claim is filed, any future company may never know you had a discrimination complaint. This is where a good strategy comes into play. And this issue can also be dealt with in a settlement agreement. Many times a confidentiality clause is added to the settlement agreement addressing the issue of disclosure. This will allow the claim and the settlement to remain private. Although this may not seem like a big deal now, the inclusion of this clause could help you with employment in the future. There are many other clauses that can affect your future employment and an experienced lawyer who handles these types of cases can help ensure they are in your agreement. Take action and maximize your claim.

“With this resolution, Mobility Works has taken a positive step towards protecting the rights of women in the workplace.” said EEOC Regional Attorney Laurie Young