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.).
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a disability discrimination case against an internet retailer, Black Forest Decor, for allegedly firing one of its warehouse workers for taking a leave of absence due to a disability. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that the employee informed the company that she would need surgery within months due to a medical condition from which she suffered. This employee’s doctor had permitted her to work until she had her surgery. Despite this, the company forced the employee to take an unpaid leave until that time because it supposedly feared liability if anything were to happen to her. The employee took the leave as mandated by the company and kept Black Forest apprised of the details regarding her surgery, but Black Forest did not contact her for three weeks, at which point it fired the employee for alleged “excessive absences.” This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits companies from discriminating against employees because of perceived disabilities. See EEOC v. Black Forest Décor, LLC, No. 5:19-cv-00894 (W.D. Okla.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a retaliation lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living Communities after the EEOC sued Brookdale for alleged race discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that Brookdale had employed an African American caregiver who overheard her co-workers making comments with racial connotations that she found offensive. This caregiver complained about the racially offensive comments and discrimination. Shortly after her complaint, Brookdale suspended the caregiver and then eventually fired her in retaliation for the complaints. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from retaliating when an employee complains about race discrimination, even in circumstances where the discrimination is based on comments that the employee perceives as discriminatory. See EEOC v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., No. 2:20-cv-00993 (E.D. Cal.).
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reached a settlement with St. Vincent Hospital in a lawsuit where the EEOC alleged that the hospital discriminated against an employee because of a disability and then retaliated after this employee complained of discrimination. The lawsuit claimed that one of St. Vincent Hospital’s employees, Asheley Coriz, was subjected to a hostile work environment by her supervisor because Ms. Coriz is deaf. The lawsuit further claimed that Ms. Coriz was not granted reasonable accommodations, and that St. Vincent then fired Ms. Coriz after she complained about St. Vincent’s failure to grant her requested reasonable accommodations and her supervisor’s discriminatory conduct. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA protects employees from discrimination and retaliation due to a disability. See EEOC v. St. Vincent Hospital, No. 1:19-cv-00764 (D.N.M.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit that it had filed last year, in which the EEOC had alleged that a company had discriminated against multiple employees due to their religion and national origin and retaliated against these employees after they complained about the hostile work environment that Service Caster Corporation created. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that Service Caster subjected three of its Puerto Rican employees to a hostile work environment because of the Puerto Rican national origin and also because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, Pentecostal. Specifically, the EEOC asserted that the Plant Manager regularly made derogatory, insulting, and negative remarks about the employees’ national origin and called their religion a cult. The employees complained to the owner, but the harassment continued, and Service Caster eventually retaliated by reducing their hours and responsibility and eventually terminating their employment. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on an employee’s national origin and religion. See EEOC v. Service Caster Corp., No. 5:19-cv-04525 (E.D. Pa.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Thompson Construction Group, Inc., for allegedly firing a black employee due to his race. The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that Thompson hired this employee to work as a pipefitter foreman to oversee a crew of pipe workers. Just a few months after he was hired, a white subordinate employee made derogatory and offensive comments to this foreman based on his race. Instead of terminating the Caucasian employee, Thompson Construction fired the African American pipefitter foreman. The EEOC is alleging that the pipefitter foreman was fired because of his race. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race. See EEOC v. Thompson Construction Group, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00406 (M.D.N.C.).
Staffing Company Could Be Liable For Continuing To Doing Business with Employer that Discriminates Against Pregnant Employees
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity recently filed a lawsuit against both a company, LogistiCare Solutions LLC, and a staffing agency that provided the company with employees, HCM Staffing, for allegedly violating federal pregnancy discrimination laws. The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that HCM placed at least two pregnant employees at LogistiCare to work as customer service representatives, but LogistiCare fired both of them after a one-week training. The lawsuit further alleges that LogistiCare fired the employees because it assumed they could not meet the company’s attendance policy due to their pregnancy. The EEOC also claims that the staffing agency knew that LogistiCare fired these employees because of their pregnancies but it continued staffing LogistiCare and it complied with LogistiCare’s decision to terminate the employees. This alleged conduct by both companies is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of a disability. See EEOC v. LogistiCare Solutions, LLC, No. 2:20-cv-00852 (D. Ariz.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a class action lawsuit after alleging that the employer implemented an attendance policy that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that the company had an attendance policy with a hard cap on the number of absences employees could have, regardless of whether the absences were due to a disability from which an employee suffered. If an employee reached the maximum number of absences allowed, then the company would fire the employee even if there was a doctor’s excuse or medical documents to explain the absence. This alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their disabilities and requires employers to grant reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. See EEOC v. Wayne Farms, LLC, No. 5:16-cv-01347 (N.D. Ala.).
Disability discrimination has broad coverage, including prohibitions on terminating an employee for a perceived disability. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a company that it alleged had discriminated against an employee because it perceived the employee as disabled. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that IDEC Corporation viewed one of its employees as disabled because of sleep apnea and a heart condition. The EEOC further alleged that the company terminated the employee due to these perceived disabilities. These alleged actions are illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. See EEOC v. IDEC Corp., No. 18-cv-4168 (N.D. Ill.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against American Securities Insurance Company in which it had alleged that the company terminated an employee due to a disability. The lawsuit claimed that because the employee suffered from Type 2 diabetes, she requested that she be permitted to work from home. Although the company purported to grant this request, the EEOC claimed that the employee’s supervisor complained about her doing telework, criticized her performance, and eventually fired the employee. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. See EEOC v. American Security Insurance Co., No. 1:19-CV-3411 (N.D. Ga.).
The EEOC filed a lawsuit against three Ohio restaurants with the same owner. The EEOC claims that the owner and chef of the restaurants subjected a female waitress to unwelcome, offensive, and repeated sexual comments and advances to the waitress that became so severe it eventually led to her being forced to resign her job. The owner allegedly offered money in exchange for sex and sexually assaulted the waitress, and these actions reached a level that forced the waitress to resign from her job. These alleged actions violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits sexual harassment and sexual discrimination, including propositioning an employee for sex in exchange for money or promotions. See EEOC v. 3501 Seoul, LLC, SushiNati, LLC, Korea House, LLC, No.1:20-cv-00277 (S.D. Ohio).
The EEOC recently sued a chain of fast food restaurants, Smashburger, for allegedly subjecting an employee to racial harassment. The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that one of its black employees was subjected to a racially hostile work environment by a general manager who made repeated offensive and demeaning racial comments about the black employee to his fiancée (another employee at the restaurant), such as making suggestions that she should break up with her fiancé because he is black. The lawsuit further alleges that the company took nearly a year after complaints started before it started conducting a serious investigation. This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees because of their race. See EEOC V. Icon Burger Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Smashburger, No. 2:20-cv-01601 (E.D.N.Y.).