- Two Texas-based companies have agreed to pay $90,000 to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation charge brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a female recruiter who alleged she was fired after complaining that her boss treated her differently compared to male employees, the EEOC said Tuesday.
- The recruiter was hired by professional employer organization American One Source to work for Outwest Express, a trucking company. She alleged that her boss repeatedly cursed at and ridiculed her but did not treat male employees similarly. After complaining about the behavior to HR, she was fired, per the EEOC.
- After an investigation, the agency determined that the two companies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Both employers denied the recruiter’s allegations, according to the press release. American One Source and Outwest Express did not immediately respond to HR Dive requests for comment.
In addition to the monetary relief provided in the settlement, American One Source and Outwest Express agreed to train supervisors and employees and report to the EEOC over a three-year period, according to the press release.
“We are glad to resolve this matter through voluntary compliance, which benefits the recruiter, the companies, and the public interest,” David Davis, acting director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District, said in a statement. “Outwest Express and American One Source have agreed to provide appropriate relief and improve their workplace policies and procedures to prevent future harassment and retaliation.”
Federal law prohibits employers from punishing employees for participating in protected activity such as communicating with a supervisor or manager about employment discrimination, according to the EEOC. EEO laws’ anti-retaliation protections also apply to job applicants and former employees, the commission said last year.
In a similar case, EEOC filed a lawsuit in September against a dental supply company that allegedly fired a sales representative just one day after she complained to HR about a supervisor’s discriminatory conduct.
As part of their Title VII compliance efforts, employers can train employees and managers to ensure that employees feel comfortable reporting harassment or other forms of workplace discrimination without fear of retaliation, sources previously told HR Dive.