The EEOC recently settled a lawsuit in which it alleged that a male manager had targeted young female employees around the ages of 15-to-20 and subjected them to sexual harassment. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that the manager made sexual comments to these women and that he inappropriately touched and groped some of them. The EEOC further alleged that he asked one of the restaurant’s 15 year old employees to text him nude pictures of herself. This event led to the arrest of the manager by the local police. Despite the accusation, arrest, and indeed a guilty plea for misdemeanor harassment, the restaurant allowed the manager to return to work and did not stop the inappropriate behavior. The EEOC’s Complaint asserted that New China terminated the employment of at least one female employee in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment by this manager. This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment as well as retaliation for complaints of sexual harassment. See EEOC v. New China, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00277-CL (D. Or.).
The U.S. Department of Labor recently succeeded in recovering over $50,000 of back wages for more than 50 employees who worked for Sprouts Farmers Market, which the DOL claimed did not record nor pay employees for work that they performed off of the clock, before and after scheduled shift times, and during meal breaks. Employers are obligated to pay their employees for all hours that the employees work, even if such hours are off of the clock or before or after their scheduled shift. The failure to record or pay for these hours resulted in the employer violating overtime laws pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under that law, almost all hourly employees are entitled to time-and-a-half overtime wages for every hour that they work over forty in a workweek. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20210216-2
An aerospace components manufacturer, United Precision Products Co., recently settled a lawsuit that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had filed against it. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that United Precision failed to hire a prospective employee because of his age (64). The applicant sought work at United Precision through a staffing agency, however, during the interview process, United’s Precision’s plant supervisor asked for the prospective employee’s age, when he graduated high school, and his driver’s license. After the interview, this same supervisor told the staffing agency that they were rejecting the applicant because he did not have the “desire” for the job. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees due to their age. See EEOC v. United Precision Products Co., No. 2:20-cv-10930 (S.D. Mich.).
A collection of residential care facilities have been ordered to pay a significant penalty by the U.S. Department of Labor, after the DOL found that the owners of the facilities had violated both minimum wage and overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act. An investigation found that owners were paying certain employees flat rates per day, regardless of the number of hours that the employees worked. By doing this, the company tried to eschew overtime laws that require time-and-a-half overtime wages to employees who worked over forty hours in a workweek. In addition, the company also did not pay employees for certain hours that they worked, such as hours for required training. The laundry list of violations continued with a failure to display the FLSA poster and a failure to keep accurate records for weekly hours worked and paid. The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits all of these violations. Non-exempt employees must be paid time-and-a-half overtime wages when they work over forty hours in a workweek, even when the employees are paid a “flat rate.” An employer in Ohio who violates overtime laws may be required to pay all unpaid wages, an equal amount of liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a security services firm in which the EEOC had claimed that the company had subjected female employees to sexual harassment and at least one employee to retaliation as well. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that one of the company’s site managers had subjected a female security guard to unwanted touching, inappropriate and lewd sexual comments, and that he had cornered this guard in an elevator and kissed her without consent. The guard complained to management. Instead of addressing the manager’s inappropriate and illegal behavior, the company fired the guard in retaliation for her complaints. The EEOC further alleged that this manager had also sexually harassed a class of female employees at the company with similar behavior including sexual advances, inappropriate sexual comments, requests for explicit pictures, and an attempt to kiss another employee. Other managers saw this harassment, but the company did nothing to stop it. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, as well as complaints about such discrimination and harassment. See EEOC v. MVM, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-02881 (D. Md.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Nature’s Medicines. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that one of the General Managers subjected multiple employees to a hostile work environment. The lawsuit further claimed that the harassment involved unwelcome touching and offensive sexual comments to the staff and offensive sexual comments to and about customers. On at least one occasion, the GM showed an employee a nude picture on his phone. Multiple employees complained about this behavior. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination and sexual harassment. See EEOC v. AMMA Investment Group, LLC, No. 1:20-cv-02786 (D. Md.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a medical transportation company named American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Inc., in which the EEOC had claimed that AMRAS had discriminated against one of its employees because of her pregnancy. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that one of AMRAS’s paramedics requested a reasonable light duty accommodation near the last stages of her pregnancy. The employee submitted a doctor’s note as part of her request for this light duty work. Despite the reasonable request, AMRAS denied her light duty. In comparison, for other employees, AMRAS permitted light duty accommodations when these employees had been injured on the job. Instead, AMRAS insisted that the paramedic could either work without any restrictions or take an unpaid leave. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. When companies provide light duty accommodations to employees who are injured on the job, then it must maintain consistency in that policy with pregnant employees who request the same accommodation. See EEOC v. American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Inc., No. 2:19-CV-258 (E.D. Wash.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled a lawsuit against a steel-fabrication company, Moore & Morford, Inc. The EEOC had previously filed a lawsuit against the company alleging harassment based on her sex and retaliation for her complaints of harassment. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that Moore & Morford subjected one of its female employees to a hostile work environment based on her sex. Male employees of the company regularly used offensive and derogatory terms to the female employee that were based on her sex, and they told her that “women don’t belong on the floor.” The female employee complained to the owners, but that only resulted in the company’s foreman treating her even worse (grabbing her by her shirt collar, denying her tools, and making her clean feces in the women’s bathroom). Due to the continued harassment, she filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, and shortly after filing the Charge, the company terminated her employment. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits harassment based on sex and retaliation for complaints of such harassment. See EEOC v. Moore & Morford, Inc., No. 2:20-cv-00892 (W.D. Pa.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced that it had settled a lawsuit against Interconnect Cable Technologies Corporation in which the EEOC had alleged that ICTC had discriminated against one of its employees who suffered from a disability. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that ICTC first demoted and then fired its employee who had been hospitalized due to a mental illness from which the employee suffered. The employee, who suffered from major depressive disorder, was hospitalized for a short time due to her disability. When she attempted to return to work after this hospitalization, ICTC took away her job duties. Shortly after that, ICTC demoted the employee and cut her pay. Eventually, about four months after the hospitalization, ICTC terminated her employment. Such alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of an employee’s disability. See EEOC v. Interconnect Cable Technologies Corp., No. 8:20-cv-00644 (M.D. Fla.).
A nursing home, formerly known as Edgewood Manor, has agreed to settle an Equal Pay Act lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that 12 Licensed Practical Nurses were paid at a rate lower than it paid to its male LPNs. The EEOC alleged that Edgewood paid female LPNs a range of $20-$26.50 per hour (depending on experience) compared to a range of $25 to $27 per hour for its male LPNs who had the same or less experience. The alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits pay discrimination based on sex. See EEOC v. Edgewood Manor OPCO LLC, No. 4:19-cv-760 (W.D. Mo.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently reached a settlement with a company that the EEOC claimed had harassed one of its employees so badly that it forced him to quit. The employee, a sales consultant, was allegedly subjected to constant verbal harassment based on race, sexual orientation, and a disability. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation) and race. The alleged conduct also violations the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of disability. See EEOC v. Baccarat, Inc., No. 1:20-CV-02918 (S.D.N.Y.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled a lawsuit against Stan Koch & Sons Trucking, Inc. The EEOC filed a lawsuit alleging that Koch refused to rehire one of its former employees because she previously filed an EEOC Charge against the company. In her previous charge, the former employee alleged that Koch discriminated against women because it used a strength test to screen for truck drivers. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that after this charge, Koch refused to allow the former employee to apply for re-employment, solely because of the previous charge of discrimination. Retaliating against an employee (or former employee) because they filed an EEOC Charge is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See EEOC v. Stan Koch & Sons Trucking, Inc., No. 19-cv-1371 (D. Minn.).
EEOC Contends Employers Must Supply Sign Language Interpreters to Deaf Applicants Interviewing for a Job
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a technology business service company, Conduent Business Services, LLC, after the EEOC alleged that the company discriminated against a prospective employee due to a disability. The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that Conduent refused to interview (and hire) a prospective employee who was qualified for the potential job because he was deaf. He applied for a job with Conduent as a corporate development associate, and Conduent initially showed interest in interviewing him, but then chose not to consider the application after the prospective employee’s job recruitment firm informed Conduent that the prospective employee would need an American Sign Language interpreter. The EEOC contends that employers must provide interpreters to deaf applicants when they interview for a job. The alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law makes it illegal to discriminate against employees and applicants because of a disability. See EEOC v. Conduent Business Services, LLC, No. 2:19-cv-1854 (D.N.J.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity recently settled a lawsuit against a company for allegedly discriminating against an employee due to her disability. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that the employee suffered from epilepsy. The employee suffered a seizure at home after work and called to ask her supervisor for two days off of work to recover from the seizure. When she returned to work, the company fired the employee and told her that she was fired because her absences occurred during her probationary period. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against employees due to a disability. See EEOC v. PML Services, LLC, No. 3:18-cv-00805 (W.D. Wis.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a company allegedly making discriminatory wage payments. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that Covenant had paid one of its female business intelligence developers a lower salary than it paid to two male employees who performed the same work and held the same position as the female employee. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits paying less to employees because of their sex when they perform the same or equal work. See EEOC v. Covenant HealthCare, No. 2:20-cv-10662 (E.D. Mich.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against a Korean restaurant chain. The EEOC had filed a lawsuit against the restaurant claiming that the owner and chef subjected one of his female employees to sexual harassment and that he had offered her money in exchange for sex. The EEOC further alleged that the harassment eventually rose to sexual assault and forced the employee to resign. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment. See EEOC v. 3501 Seoul, LLC, No. 1:20-cv-00277 (S.D. Ohio).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a franchise that operates seven McDonald’s restaurants. The lawsuit alleged that the company subjected a teenage employee to sexual harassment. The EEOC’s lawsuit asserted that one of the company’s managers sexually harassed a 16 year old employee. The EEOC claimed that the teenage employee endured sexual comments, sexual requests, and that a supervisor offered her money in exchange for naked pictures of herself. The Complaint further alleged that the harassment eventually reached a point where the supervisor sexually assaulted the employee. The alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See EEOC v. Par Ventures, Inc. d/b/a McDonald’s, No. 5:19-cv-00341 (E.D.N.C.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against UPS Freight in which the EEOC had alleged that UPS had discriminated against an employee after he had a stroke in 2013. The employee requested a reasonable accommodation of temporary non-driving work, but UPS would not permit this accommodation. At the time that the employee made this request, UPS had a policy (which was part of a Collective Bargaining Agreement) of only granting this type of reassignment to drivers whose licenses had been suspended for a non-medical reason. In 2018, the EEOC was able to obtain an order from the court that this policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Last month, the EEOC reached a settlement for the employee’s damages. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their disability. See EEOC v. UPS Ground Freight, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-02453 (D. Kan.).
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that firing employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex. Title VII applies to most employers in the United States with fifteen or more employees. The Court ruled that when employers fire employees who are homosexual or transgender, that employer “fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” The Court reasoned that it is not possible for an employer to make an employment decision based on an employee’s sexual orientation without considering sex. Since 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has forbidden employers from discriminating against its employees because of their sex. Simply put, when Title VII applies, employers cannot fire an employee because they are gay, lesbian, or transgender. This applies even to employment decisions that occurred prior to the date of the Supreme Court’s opinion. The full opinion can be found at this link: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a lawsuit against Albertsons after it alleged that the company had implemented a blanket rule that discriminated against employees because of their national origin. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that the company had allowed one of its managers to discriminate against and harass its Hispanic employees because they spoke Spanish. The Complaint alleged that the company prohibited its Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish, including to Spanish speaking customers and during breaks. The employees were reprimanded when they did speak Spanish. The EEOC considers a blanket “English-only” rule whereby employees may not speak any language other than English (including during breaks) to be a form of national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See EEOC v. Albertsons Companies, Inc., No. 3:18-cv-00852 (S.D. Cal.).