South Carolina hauler settles EEOC claim that it refused to interview female driver
- American Pride Waste Solutions, Inc., has agreed to pay $32,500 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit alleging it refused to interview a qualified female candidate for a driving job.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a 2018 lawsuit that the South Carolina service provider violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it failed to hire or interview Christina Rivers for a waste truck driver job. EEOC said Rivers was qualified for the job, as she holds a commercial driver's license and has demonstrated experience. "American Pride has never hired a female driver and offered inconsistent and varying excuses for its failure to interview Rivers, who it admitted was qualified to be interviewed," EEOC said in a statement.
- In addition to the monetary settlement, the company also agreed to update and distribute anti-discrimination policies; provide annual equal employment opportunity training to its managers, supervisors and employees; and post a notice about the lawsuit and report to EEOC when discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints are received.
Title VII forbids covered employers from discriminating in every aspect of employment on the basis of gender — including hiring — and EEOC remains committed to enforcement.
Last year, Sherwood Food Distributors, LLC paid $3.6 million and agreed to offer jobs to 150 women to settle an agency lawsuit alleging that it refused to hire female applicants for entry-level jobs at its Cleveland and Detroit warehouses. Sex is rarely a bona fide occupational qualification, EEOC noted previously, adding that the exemption should be interpreted narrowly.
To head off gender-based discrimination claims, employers may need to adopt anti-discrimination policies and train those involved in hiring. A robust reporting system can also help, experts have said.
With an eye toward the value of a diverse workplace, employers can go beyond training, policies and procedures and examine corporate culture. With buy-in from management, HR can work to create and uphold business ethics and conduct that support a diverse work environment.