School Fired Softball Coach Because He is a Man, Federal Agency Charged
BALTIMORE - Park School of Baltimore, Inc., a private school in Pikesville, Md., will pay $41,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a federal sex discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the suit, the Park School hired a male as head softball coach in the spring of 2014 and renewed his employment contract as head softball coach in 2015 and 2016. The EEOC charged that despite his satisfactory job performance, in 2017 the Park School told the coach that it would not renew his contract for the 2017 softball season because of its "preference for female leadership."
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Park School of Baltimore Inc., Civil Action No.1:18-cv-02319) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $41,000 in monetary damages to the coach, the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides significant equitable relief, including prohibiting the Park School from engaging in gender discrimination in the future. The Park School will implement a policy prohibiting gender discrimination and retaliation and provide training on federal anti-discrimination laws and the company's policies. The Park School will also post a notice regarding the settlement and employee rights under Title VII and report any future complaints of gender discrimination to the EEOC.
"Title VII protects both men and women from unequal treatment based on gender," said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. "We are pleased the Park School worked with us to resolve this quickly, fairly and without incurring unnecessary litigation expenses."
Union Negotiated in Favor of Discriminatory Promotional Examinations, Federal Agency Charged
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it has resolved its race discrimination lawsuit against the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, Local 122, IAFF. The EEOC's lawsuit against the union was a companion case to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against the City of Jacksonville (Case No.3-12-cv-451-J-32MCR), which alleged that the city's promotional practices for various positions in the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's prohibition against race discrimination.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, filed April 30, 2012 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (EEOC v. Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, Local 122, IAFF, 3:12-cv-491-J-32MCR), the union advocated for an unlawful promotional process that had a disparate impact on African-American promotional candidates. The EEOC said the union continued doing so after receiving an EEOC Commissioner's discrimination charge against the union in February 2008, and after the city's Human Rights Commission issued a report on Aug. 8, 2006 recommending changes to the JFRD promotional process.
The consent decree entered by the court resolves the claims of the DOJ and EEOC, as well as claims brought against the city and/or union by private plaintiffs the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Jacksonville Branch, and the Jacksonville Brotherhood of Firefighters. Through the decree approved by the court on Feb. 5, 2019, the city agreed that it would develop a new promotional examination for the selection of certain positions in the Fire and Rescue Department. In addition, the city will offer up to 40 settlement promotion positions for qualified African-Americans and will establish a $4.9 million settlement fund for eligible promotion candidates.
"We are pleased that the union has agreed with the city's decision to make changes to the promotional process and provide relief to eligible African-American promotion candidates," said EEOC District Director Michael Farrell. "The EEOC will continue to identify and fight promotional processes that operate as systemic barriers to employment based on legally protected characteristics."
Federal Agency Charges National Furniture Retailer Refused to Hire Female Applicants
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - American Freight Management Company, LLC d/b/a American Freight Furniture and Mattress violated federal anti-discrimination laws by engaging in systemic discrimination against female applicants, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today. The lawsuit charges that American Freight refused to hire or even consider a class of female applicants for employment because of their sex.
American Freight, headquartered in Delaware, Ohio, operates a nationwide chain of warehouse-style discount furniture stores specializing in furniture obtained through factory closeouts, dealer cancellations, retail chain buyouts, and wholesale liquidations. The company has over 150 stores located throughout the United States.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, since at least January 1, 2013, American Freight has engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of discrimination against women, intentionally excluding qualified female applicants from sales and warehouse jobs because of their sex. Corporate managers instructed store managers not to hire women because women "complain and make trouble." Store employees also heard store managers say that women: "bitch too much;" are too much of "a distraction" to the male employees; cannot work in the warehouse because "women can't lift," and do not "do as great a job at selling furniture as men," according to the suit.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. American Freight Management Company, LLC d/b/a American Freight Furniture and Mattress, Case No. 2:10-cv-00273) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, in Birmingham after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks monetary relief, including back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, for the class of female applicants denied employment opportunities due to the company's discriminatory policies and practices. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to prevent future sex-based discrimination, including an order that American Freight be required to institute policies, practices and procedures that conform to the requirements of federal law.
"Refusing to hire or even consider an applicant because of her sex deprives people of equal opportunities within the workplace, and the EEOC is committed to stopping this sort of illegal conduct," said Bradley Anderson, district director of the EEOC's Birmingham District Office.
"All job applicants deserve to be evaluated based on their qualifications, without regard to sex," said Marsha Rucker, regional attorney of the EEOC's Birmingham District Office.