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