Hidden Traps in Gender Discrimination

by on January 14, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Male targets of gender bias

Gender discrimination works both ways. Do your hiring managers and policy makers know that?

Management at an Indiana restaurant made it a practice to give female food servers better shifts, better tables and better advancement opportunities than the male waiters.

The men served notice of their unhappiness, but company brass didn’t change its tune. So the waiters launched a lawsuit.

The employer settled, agreeing to pay the men $350,000, prepare and implement sex-neutral job descriptions and train its managers on legal hiring practices.

Cite: EEOC v. Jillians.

Post Victory Slipup Costs Firm $3.1 M

Even when a court calls an employee’s gender discrimination claim baseless, managers with a chip on their shoulder had better not punish her for having gone to the EEOC.

An employer successfully defended itself against a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by an employee. So far, so good. But unfortunately, after she filed her claim, her duties were cut and she was excluded from meetings.

She filed another lawsuit. This time she won a whopping $3.1 million.

Cite: Passantino v. Johnson & Johnson.

Unequal Opportunity

This may be a good time to audit your workplace in search of entrenched, systemic inequities – pay bias, unfair advantages and other forms of discrimination.

As this case demonstrates, if you don’t police yourself, the Department of Labor will be only too happy to handle the job for you.

A California-based employer had a long-standing policy of keeping men in certain manual jobs such as “order filler” and “stocker.” These positions paid more than the jobs into which female applicants were placed.

The DOL investigated and then it sued the employer for gender discrimination. The company settled before the case went to court. It agreed to pay a total of $240,000.

The settlement included $120,685 in back pay, benefits and interest to 57 women. The employer further agreed to revise its hiring and selection practices and to train its managers in equal opportunity hiring practices.

Cite: DOL v. S.P. Richards Co.

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