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A Merrillville, Ind., plastics product manufacturer will pay $170,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced on September 15.
The EEOC charged in its suit (Case number 2:09-CV-0141 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division) that Polycon Industries violated federal law by refusing to promote female employees into its higher-paying production positions. The EEOC also charged that Polycon further violated the law by considering gender when placing new hires into entry-level positions, to the detriment of female new hires, who were overwhelmingly placed into lower-paying entry-level jobs.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the consent decree requires Polycon to affirmatively take action to place new hires and promote females in a non-discriminatory manner, comply with prohibitions against further discrimination, post and distribute a policy of non-discrimination, train its employees and report to the EEOC.
“Despite the Commission’s 45-year existence, some employers still make the mistake of basing job placement decisions on gender, said EEOC regional attorney Laurie Young. “This settlement will send a message to all employers that labeling jobs as ‘male’ or ‘female’ will not be tolerated and the EEOC will take all necessary steps to prevent this sort of gender stereotyping and ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity laws.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.