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June 2018 EEOC Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on July 16, 2018

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

Colorado: University of Denver agreed to pay $2.66 million to settle an Equal Pay lawsuit. The University allegedly violated federal law by paying a class of female professors at the Sturm College of Law lower salaries than their male counterparts who were performing equal work under similar working conditions.

According to the EEOC, all of the women’s salaries were found to be paid on average of $19,781 less than those of male professors. The significant pay difference was formally recognized although, corrective action was never taken. In addition to the payment of monetary damages, the settlement required the University of Denver to increase the salaries of those seven professors.

North Dakota: Keller Paving and Landscaping to pay $59,000 to settle sexual harassment lawsuit. A North Dakota construction company was alleged to have forced a female truck driver to quit due to an abusive workplace.

The lawsuit was filed regarding the sexual harassment against the construction company after the female employee was allegedly forced to resign because of the hostile work environment. The harassment included coworkers telling her that she should be at home in the kitchen taking care of her kids. Occasionally the female employee would be asked by her male coworker to perform sexual favors. Although the harassment was reported to the company’s owners and site manager, it continued.

Nevada: Nevada Restaurant Services to pay $3.5 million to settle disability discrimination lawsuit. A large Las Vegas-based gaming company had allegedly been discriminating employees based on their disabilities.

The EEOC alleged that Nevada Restaurant Services violated federal law by requiring that employees with disabilities or medical conditions be 100 percent healed before returning to work. Their policy did not allow interactive process nor did it provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. The employees were fired or forced to quit because they were regarded as disabled, had a record of a disability or were associated with someone with a disability.

Welter Insight

Note that “100% healed” policies are a huge red flag for the EEOC.

Virginia: LA Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill and Cantina has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. A female restaurant worker was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining.

Alexus Dudeck worked as a hostess at the Bluefield, Virginia, restaurant. Dudeck was 18 years old at the time when she was subjected to unwelcome sexual comments and touching by an older male manager. The suit alleged that the manager had previously engaged in similar sexual conduct with at least another female employee at the company. When the harassment occurred, La Fiesta did not have a sexual harassment policy or employee complaint procedures in effect. After she complained about the sexual harassment, La Fiesta reduced her work hours.

New York: Regional International to pay $65,000 to settle disability discrimination suit. A New York truck dealership fired an employee after his leave request. The Regional International Corporation fired a truck parts delivery driver shortly after he requested for leave post hip replacement surgery. His supervisor whom he had recently received a high performance rating, told the driver he was being fired due to customer complaints. The employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified employee, instead firing him for another reason.

Missouri: Amsted Rail to pay $4.4 million in a consent decree entered after the court ruled it had used discriminatory hiring practices. The manufacturer of steel castings for the rail industry denied employment based on carpal tunnel screening using a nerve conduction test. The manufacturing company hired a third party to perform such screenings.

Montrell Ingram and other applicants who applied to work as “chippers” would have been required to use a hammer or grinder to remove metal protrusions from steel castings. The company’s hired third party contractor used a nerve conduction test for carpal tunnel syndrome. The court held that the test was unlawful, finding it had no or little value of predicting future injury.

South Carolina: J.C. Witherspoon to pay $53,000 to settle religious discrimination lawsuit. The logging company fired Hebrew Pentecostal truck driver because of his Sabbath requirement. The company refused to accommodate Leroy Lawson.

At the time Lawson was hired, he informed the company that Saturday is the Sabbath day according to his religious belief, in which the company later discharged him after he failed to work on Saturday for this reason.

Illinois: Anchor Staffing to pay $30,000 to settle sex harassment and retaliation suit. The Chicago-based staffing company denied an employee future work assignments after she complained about abuse.

Sara Magana was placed on a temporary assignment on her first day at the job location. It was alleged that she was sexually harassed by another employee at the staffing agency who made intimidating comments and attempted to hug and kiss her. Although Magana was removed from the assignment, the alleged harasser continued to work at that location. Magana was punished for reporting an unlawful misconduct, which caused her to never again be placed for future assignments by the staffing agency.

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