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January 2018 EEOC Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on March 9, 2018

Our summary of recent EEOC verdicts and settlements for January 2018.

Colorado: Montrose Memorial Hospital will pay $400,000 to settle an age discrimination suit. The suit alleged that the hospital violated Federal law when 29 employees, aged 40 and older, were fired or forced to resign. These employees who have been with the company for 10 years or more, were fired for supposed performance deficiencies for which younger employees were treated more leniently. The suit also alleged that hospital managers made ageist comments, including that younger nurses could “dance around the older nurses” and that they preferred younger and “fresher” nurses.

In addition to the monetary damages, the consent decree settling the suit requires Montrose Hospital to conduct annual anti-discrimination training for its employees, managers, supervisors and human resources employees.

Kentucky: Indi’s Fast Food restaurant will pay $340,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit. The suit alleged that several of the restaurant’s locations in Louisville subjected 15 former female employees, some of whom were teenagers, to long-standing sexual harassment, including sexual favors, sexually offensive comments and unwanted sexual touching.

The allegations violated the Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. After attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through their conciliation process, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit. Resolving the case under consent decree, Indi’s must provide letters of apology to the women, implement new policies, conduct extensive training for employees and management, post an anti-discrimination notice at all workplaces, and report to compliance to the EEOC for a five-year period.

Arizona: Geo Group, Inc. to pay $550,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation suit. The company who operates a correctional facility includes male and female employees. The suit alleges that male officers would sexually assault and harass the female officers daily. The suit also alleges that the female officers were retaliated against when they would complain of the harassment, by forcing them to quit, fire them or place them in unsafe conditions of the facility.

The consent decree resolving this case provides 16 women with the $550,000 settlement amount. In addition, GEO must send letters of regret to the women and provide employment references for them. EEOC Phoenix District states that this kind of misconduct is degrading and inexcusable and violates federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition, a EEOC Phoenix adds that, “Retaliation occurs all too often when employees complain about harassment and discrimination. Retaliation can reinforce a hostile work environment by discouraging workers from reporting harassment and encouraging harassers to continue the mistreatment of other employees. Employees must take note and take steps to ensure that employees who complain about discrimination are not retaliated against either.”

Hawaii: Aloha Auto Group, Ltd. will pay $30,000 to settle a retaliation suit. An employee was retaliated against by firing him because he encouraged a group of employees to complain about the discriminatory comments made by the employer. The allegation violates the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An EEOC district attorney states that this retaliation is taken seriously because it undermines the integrity of the federal process for reporting and preventing discrimination.

Mississippi: Pioneer Health Services to pay $85,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. The suit alleged that the company violated the ADA when they denied their employee additional leave time to recover from her surgery. The suit alleges that she was fired due to her exhausting her company-approved leave.

North Carolina: Mission Hospital will pay $89,000 to settle religious discrimination suit. The religious discrimination suit alleges three employees were denied their requests to be exempt from the company’s annual flu vaccination. The suit alleged that the requests were submitted after the required deadline. Consequently, the hospital fired the three employees.

Mission Hospital requires employees to receive a flu vaccination annually be a certain date. An employee may request an exemption to the vaccination annually by a certain date. The exemption to the vaccination requirement can be based on religious beliefs, but the hospital requires the request to be made by September 1, or it is subject to being denied. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious beliefs as long as is does not post an undue hardship on the employer.

District of Columbia: Vador Ventures, Inc. dba Total Quality Building Services will pay $36,461 to settle an Equal Pay and Retaliation suit. The suit alleges that the janitorial services company had paid a lower wage than her male counterpart with the same job duties and was retaliated against when complaint was made.

Maryland: Volvo Group North America, LLC will pay $70,000 to settle disability discrimination suit. The company violated the ADA by disallowing the employee to start his first day on the job. The company offered the job to whom was also a recovering drug addict. This employee was enrolled in a supervised medication -assisted treatment program. During the employee’s post-offer physical examination, the applicant explained that he was taking medically prescribed suboxone. The employer failed to conduct an individualized assessment to determine what effect, if any, the suboxone had on his ability to perform the job. The employer did not allow the employee to start on his first day because of his suboxone use.

California: Universal Protection Services, LP dba Allied Universal Security Services will pay $90,000 to settle religious discrimination suit. The security company fired a Muslim employee after the employee had requested to modify the company’s grooming standard. The company fired him two days after the request was made. The security company refused to accommodate the request of the Muslim security guard who sought modify the company’s grooming standard.

The company violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination and requires employers to make reasonable religious accommodations to employees’ who require them.

In addition to the company paying $90,000 to the employee, Allied Universal Security Services agrees to comprehensive injunctive remedies including in-person training and monitoring to ensure that future religious discrimination will not occur.

Illinois: Greektown Casino located in Detroit will pay $140,000 to settle a disability lawsuit. The casino violated the ADA when the employee was fired after he had requested to extend his leave after his FMLA was exhausted. The employer did not provide reasonable accommodation for his disability.

Texas: Lowe’s Home Centers to pay $55,000 to settle disability discrimination lawsuit. The home improvement store demoted an employee after he was told that they can no longer accommodate him due to his disability. The employee’s demotion cut his hourly rate by more than $4.00 an hour.

Maryland: Plastipak Packaging, Inc. will pay $90,000 to settle retaliation suit. The company fired a female employee after complaining that she was sexually harassed. The suit alleged that the company retaliated against her by terminating her employment without further investigating the complaint.

Wisconsin: Silverado to pay $80,000 to settle pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The residential care provider terminated a pregnant employee because they were unable to accommodate her medical restrictions. The employer chose to fire her rather than accommodate her pregnancy-related medical restrictions.

Maryland: XPO Last Mile, Inc. will pay $94,541 to settle religious discrimination suit. The company revoked an offer of employment to a qualified applicant because he was unable to start work on a religious holiday. Due to his religious beliefs, the applicant requested that his start date be the day after holiday. Although the employer approved the request, the company called the applicant later that evening to revoke their decision.

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