The EEOC filed a lawsuit against a furniture company that allegedly refused to hire women for sales or warehouse positions.
About The Lawsuit
American Freight Furniture and Mattress, a retailer based in Ohio, is being sued for allegedly violating federal anti-discrimination laws. The company is accused of refusing to hire candidates due to their gender. According to a brief, the employer was only willing to hire men for sales or warehouse positions.
The lawsuit claims that corporate managers at the company prohibited their store managers from hiring women. Allegedly, the reasons provided included that female employees:
“Complain and make trouble.”
“Are a distraction to the male employees.”
“Don’t sell furniture as well as men.”
These claims were brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After reviewing details and attempting to resolve this issue, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against the employer.
The EEOC’s Involvement
Representatives from the EEOC stated that American Freight Furniture and Mattress violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lawsuit against the retailer called for financial relief for female applicants who were not hired due to the company’s allegedly unfair practices. The suit calls for back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages
The EEOC is a federal agency responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit workplace discrimination based on protected factors. These include (but are not limited to):
When the EEOC is called on to investigate, they first attempt to determine if any act of discrimination has occurred. If that is their conclusion, then they first make attempts to settle the matter. Should this not be possible, their next move is likely to file a lawsuit against the accused employer or organization.
Are Your Hiring Policies Fair?
We say this often: every employer should have written hiring and background screening policies. This document should include anti-discrimination rules that demonstrate the company is committed to maintaining a valid, fair and transparent process. Legal counsel should review the document to ensure it is complete and compliant with all relevant laws in each state where the company operates. The final version can then be distributed to every person who is involved in hiring.
These policies should be referenced and followed throughout the hiring cycle. Once that begins, the employer is also responsible for following laws that cover how and when background checks are run. The team at Backgrounds Online provides a variety of useful resources to help our clients with their background screening efforts. They include a monthly Newsletter, sample compliance documents that can be downloaded and customized, a section on our website about new and upcoming State Laws and this blog.
If you have questions about running background checks for your applicants, employees, contractors or volunteers, please contact us. Our experienced team is here to assist you Monday through Friday from 5am to 6pm PT.