R&L Carriers, Inc. and R&L Carriers, Shared Services, LLC (R&L Carriers), a nationwide trucking company headquartered in Wilmington, Ohio, will pay $1,250,000 to a class of female applicants and take steps to prevent future discrimination against female applicants to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on an applicant’s sex.
The settlement announced by the EEOC today resolves an EEOC’s lawsuit that charged R&L Carriers discriminated against women hiring for Wilmington, Ohio loader positions at least from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2017. Although a few women were hired as loaders, the company rejected or steered most female applicants to different positions because of their sex. Applicants and other witnesses stated they were told R&L Carriers did not hire women for loader positions. The alleged discriminatory conduct resulted in a large difference in the percentage of female applicants who were hired compared to male applicants who were hired.
Under the consent decree resolving the suit, the $1.25 million settlement fund will be handled by a claims administrator paid for by R&L Carriers. In the next few months, the EEOC and the claims administrator will make efforts to locate the women to whom the money will be distributed. The EEOC has set up an information line for additional information on the settlement.
The decree also orders R&L Carriers not to discriminate against female applicants at its Wilmington facility, and requires other equitable and affirmative relief, including that R&L Carriers train its hiring officials in legal hiring procedures and notify its recruiters and employees not to discriminate against women in hiring for loader positions. R&L Carriers also must invite rejected female applicants to reapply for Wilmington loader positions and engage in outreach and recruitment efforts related to employing women as loaders.
EEOC Warns Other Businesses
The settlement serves as a warning to other businesses not to engage in gender discrimination. The EEOC announcement of the settlement quotes EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows as stating, “The law requires companies to make hiring decisions based on an applicant’s qualifications, not gender stereotypes. The EEOC will continue working to ensure that job opportunities in trucking and all industries are available to all qualified workers, regardless of gender.”
EEOC Indianapolis District Office Director Kenneth Bird’s statement provides an even more pointed warning, stating, “Sex discrimination is illegal and will not be tolerated, …Employers should be on notice the EEOC will act aggressively to protect people from this type of discrimination. Employers cannot hire women for only some positions while excluding them from other positions.”
Businesss must recognize that adoption of policies in periodic training alone is an inadequate defense to potential sex or other gender discrimination charges. In addition to prohibiting discrimination and training their leader ship, and other workforce, Business is also should monitor recruitment, hiring, discipline, promotion and other aspects of their employment experience for statistical or other evidence of bias in the process. Along with these steps, businesses also provide mechanisms for reporting and conduct exit interviews to help uncover possible claims of prohibited bias or retaliation and should carefully respond to and investigate any reported or observed concerns.
We hope this update is helpful. For more information about the these or other health or other legal, management or public policy developments, please contact the author Cynthia Marcotte Stamer via e-mail or via telephone at (214) 452 -8297.
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About the Author
Recognized by her peers as a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” (Top 1%) and “Top Rated Lawyer” with special recognition LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as “LEGAL LEADER™ Texas Top Rated Lawyer” in Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the fields of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is a practicing attorney board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and management consultant, author, public policy advocate and lecturer widely known for 35+ years of workforce and other management work, public policy leadership and advocacy, coaching, teachings, scholarship and thought leadership.
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) International Section Life Sciences and Health Committee, Past Chair of the ABA Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Scribe for the ABA JCEB Annual Agency Meeting with HHS-OCR, past chair of the ABA RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Group and current co-Chair of its Welfare Benefit Committee, Ms. Stamer’s work throughout her career has focused heavily on working with employer and other staffing and workforce organizations, health care and managed care, health and other employee benefit plan, insurance and financial services and other public and private organizations and their technology, data, and other service providers and advisors domestically and internationally with gender and other discrimination and others workforce management, regulatory and public policy and other legal and operational concerns. As an ongoing component of this work, she regularly advises, represents and defends employers, PEOs, staffing, employee leasing and other businesses about worker compensation, payroll and other tax, wage and hour and other compensation and employee benefit, occupational health and safety, contracting, compliance, risk management and other internal and external controls in a wide range of areas and has published and spoken extensively on these concerns. She also has decades of regulatory and other government affairs experience with these concerns including defending these and other businesses before the IRS, EBSA, WHD, EEOC, OCR, HHS, state labor, insurance, and other authorities, and evaluating and responding to federal, state and local statutory, regulatory and enforcement actions by federal and state legislators and regulators.
A prolific author and popular speaker, Ms. Stamer also is widely recognized for her decades of pragmatic, leading edge work, scholarship and thought leadership on workforce, compensation, and other operations, risk management, compliance and regulatory and public affairs concerns.
For more information about Ms. Stamer or her health industry and other experience and involvements, see www.cynthiastamer.com or contact Ms. Stamer via telephone at (214) 452-8297 or via e-mail here.
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