Is your organization unknowingly violating federal and state employment laws? If so, you’re not alone. Many unsuspecting professionals in both profit and nonprofit organizations manage via flawed human resource practices.
Why is being compliant with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws through proper HR practices important? Read the following cases to understand how organizations that thought they were doing things right discovered the hard way that they were not.
Large Company Cases
Target to pay $2.8M to upper-level applicants in EEOC settlement
Tests for upper-level jobs screened out blacks, Asians and women, EEOC says.
Target Corp. has agreed to pay $2.8 million to thousands of rejected job candidates for upper-level positions because tests they were given disproportionately screened out applicants based on their race or gender.
The payout was announced Monday by the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and will be disbursed among more than 3,000 people, said Julie Schmid, acting director for the agency in Minneapolis. Source
BMW to Pay $1.6 Million and Offer Jobs to Settle Federal Race Discrimination Lawsuit
GREENVILLE, S.C. – The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina today entered a consent decree ordering BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC (BMW) to pay $1.6 million and provide job opportunities to alleged victims of race discrimination as part of the resolution of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit, filed by EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, alleged that BMW excluded African-American logistics workers from employment at a disproportionate rate when the company’s new logistics contractor applied BMW’s criminal conviction records guidelines to incumbent logistics employees. Source
United Airlines to Pay over $1 Million To Settle Disability Lawsuit
Supreme Court Lets Stand 7th Circuit Ruling That Reassignment Is Reasonable Accommodation
In a case that garnered nationwide attention, air transportation giant United Airlines Inc. has agreed to pay more than $1 million and implement changes to settle a federal disability lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that United’s competitive transfer policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship for the employer. By requiring workers with disabilities to compete for vacant positions for which they were qualified and which they needed in order to continue working, the company’s practice frequently prevented employees with disabilities from continuing employment with United, the EEOC said. Source
Small to Medium Sized Company Cases
Stack Bros. to Pay $140,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination and Retaliation Suit
Employees Were Fired at Superior, Wis., Firm for Turning 62, Federal Agency Charged
MADISON, Wis. – Stack Bros. Mechanical Contractors, Inc. of Superior, Wis., a major heating and plumbing contractor in northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota, will pay $140,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to EEOC’s suit, Stack Bros. discriminated against Randy Virta and Karen Kolodzeske by firing them when they turned 62 in 2014. Stack Bros. also retaliated against Kolodzeske for resisting its plans to fire her, EEOC alleged.
According to Julianne Bowman, director of the EEOC’s Chicago District, which includes Wisconsin, the agency’s pre-lawsuit investigation revealed that both Virta and Kolodzeske repeatedly warned Stack Bros.’ owner that his plan to fire them when they turned 62 was illegal. However, the owner refused to relent, and, after firing Virta, retaliated against Kolodzeske for her complaints by denying her a raise, suspending her without pay for two days and creating a hostile work environment while waiting for her to turn 62. Virta and Kolodzeske had worked for Stack Bros. for 16 and 25 years, respectively. Source
Texas Oil Field Services Company Pays $30,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit
Only Female Roustabout Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment, Agency Charged
DALLAS – An Iraan, Texas oil field construction and services company will pay $30,000 and furnish other relief to settle a retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC’s suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Pecos Division (4:14-CV-00073-DAE), charged that Garrison Contractors, Inc. fired its only female roustabout, Elma Garza, after she reported being sexually harassed on the job.
Hired by the company in January 2012 as a dump truck driver, Garza spent most of her employment as the company’s only female oil field worker. In this roustabout position, Garza worked side by side with her male co-workers fixing oil and gas leaks, digging ditches and cleaning heavy equipment. EEOC said that during her employment, Garza was subjected to lewd comments about female organs and sex. EEOC contends that when Garza reported the unwanted conduct, the company retaliated against her by terminating her.
Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Source
EEOC Sues Seymour Midwest for Age Discrimination
Agency Alleges Company Rejected an Applicant Older than Its Ideal Age
INDIANAPOLIS — Seymour Midwest, a Warsaw, Indiana, hand tool manufacturing company, violated federal law when it rejected a 58-year-old executive upon learning that he was older than the company’s ideal age range of 45-52, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to EEOC’s suit, Seymour Midwest selected Steve Maril, from a pool of applicants for its senior vice president of sales position, to participate in an initial, email-based interview. In addition to questions about Maril’s experience and willingness to relocate, the company asked whether Maril was within its ideal age range of 45-52. When Seymour Midwest learned that Maril was older than its ideal age range, the company refused to hire him. Source
Church and Nonprofit Cases
EEOC Sues United Bible Fellowship Ministries for Pregnancy Discrimination
Organization’s Policy Requiring Pregnant Employees to Resign Is Discriminatory, Federal Agency Charges
HOUSTON – United Bible Fellowship Ministries, Inc., an organization that provides faith-based, community social services, violated federal law when it forced female employees out of their jobs because of their pregnancies, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Shamira Johnson worked as a resource technician, providing home care assistance to disabled individuals. Her duties included housecleaning, light laundering, administering medication, cooking and assisting with personal hygiene and grooming. United Bible terminated Johnson and other pregnant employees according to its “Pregnancy in the Workplace Policy” which required pregnant women in direct client-care positions to stop working during their pregnancy and reapply for a vacant job once they were no longer pregnant. Johnson did not return to work at United Bible after her pregnancy. The policy also unlawfully required applicants to disclose their pregnancy when applying for employment. Source
Inconsistencies in Termination Decision Wipe out Employer’s Victory
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently erased the victory of the Good Samaritan Ministries in an employee termination case, Ledbetter v. Good Samaritan Ministries, et al., — F.3d —- (7th Cir. Feb. 6, 2015), sending the case back to the trial court for further litigation.
The employee, Linzie Ledbetter (male), worked in a homeless shelter and food pantry. After a shelter resident complained about Ledbetter’s alleged threat to evict her, Ledbetter’s supervisors met with him and warned him that such behavior could result in disciplinary action, including termination. As a result, Ledbetter filed an EEOC charge—and later, a federal lawsuit—claiming race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Shortly thereafter, Ledbetter filed a second EEOC charge for race discrimination and was subsequently warned again about his behavior toward the shelter residents and toward his co-workers. The day after his supervisors learned of the second EEOC charge, they fired Ledbetter, prompting a third EEOC charge and another lawsuit for retaliation.
In the trial court, Good Samaritan Ministries and its supervisors argued that Ledbetter’s termination was not prompted by the second EEOC charge, because they had decided to fire him five days before they even knew of the charge. The trial court agreed with their argument and granted summary judgment in their favor. Source
King’s Way Baptist Church Sued By EEOC for Retaliation
Kindergarten Teacher at Church’s Christian School Fired for Complaining About Sexual Harassment by Pastor, Federal Agency Charges
ATLANTA – The King’s Way Baptist Church, Inc. of Douglasville, Ga., violated federal law when it fired a kindergarten teacher at its King’s Way Christian School for reporting sexual harassment by its chief executive officer / pastor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed recently.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, the pastor repeatedly subjected the teacher to sexual harassment by touching her inappropriately and made veiled threats to her if she should complain. When the teacher complained about the harassment, rather than taking measures to prevent any further harassment, King’s Way fired her.
These actions violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from firing, demoting, harassing or otherwise retaliating against employees because they complained to their employer about discrimination on the job. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. The King’s Way Baptist Church, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-03816) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the former teacher, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent future discrimination. Source
Miscellaneous Cases Of Interest
Employers Beware: EEOC Stepping Up Disability Discrimination Enforcement
On the heels of that news, 10 of the 22 lawsuits filed or settlements reached by the EEOC in May included allegations of disability discrimination. That’s a .455 batting average for the ADA, which is none too shabby in anyone’s book. Some of the issues addressed by the EEOC in the past month include:
A $72,500 settlement with an Akron, Ohio, medical transportation services company, which fired an EMT-paramedic with multiple sclerosis instead of providing additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.
A $110,000 settlement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company, which medically disqualified a track maintenance worker because of degenerative disc disease without doing an individualized assessment of whether he could perform the essential functions of his job.
A $90,000 settlement with a Tennessee nursing home facility, which terminated an HIV-positive nurse.
An $18,000 settlement with an Alabama athletic apparel retailer, which fired a legally blind sales clerk (who lost his full use of his sight while serving in the Army) without any consideration of whether an accommodation, such as a magnifying glass or a new computer monitor, might be reasonable. Source
At In HIS Name HR LLC our primary role is to assist the client to identify needs, develop an action plan and facilitate change to enhance the success of your organization. Our management, human resource, and training services are designed to improve quality, safety, productivity, efficiency, and communication while improving employee morale.
With our vast experiences spanning many industries we will create the HR programs that will drive excellence. Contact us today. You will be glad you did.
Don’t be left unprepared. Contact us today. You will be glad you did.
Christian Leadership Alliance Guest Post
This statement from Bill Hybels has resonated with me for years, but never more so than this past weekend.
“People join organizations. They leave managers. “
My conversation with a young professional twenty-something started simply enough.
“How’s the new job going?”
My eyes widened as I listened to this passionate young lady talk for more than half an hour about how she and many of her colleagues want so much to impact the organization they work for, but how management there is weak and how the leadership completely lacks direction. People are not held accountable, she explained. There is no collective vision as a team and new folks are not brought onboard with any sense of excitement or motivation.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Learn more about his recently published book to help college students embark on a path to success, College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, and follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Christian Leadership Alliance Guest Post
Yes, it’s possible for you to lead employees to excellence at work, home and in their communities.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:10
A valuable part of leading sustainable for-profit organizations is introducing your employees to community relations. Part of leading people is developing them to be the best they can be, not only in the workplace but within their families and communities as well.
Look at your people from a whole person perspective—they’re far more than just “workers.” Provide your people the opportunity to do good works, to achieve greatness in their lives, and they will do great things for you. Developing your people’s skills, both in and outside the company, can positively impact the communities in which they live and you do business.
Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. ou can learn more about his recently published book for College Students, College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation HERE. Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Mission DR- 2016
Be a difference maker in 2016! Do this by creating an impact serving the people of the Dominican Republic (DR).
May 31- June 5, 2016
This trip is focused on service, evangelism and personal Christian development.
It is expected that this trip will provide you with the opportunity to express God’s love by helping others. This trip is life changing for anyone in any stage in his or her walk with Christ.
This is a working trip! Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and make an impact!
We will have several main focus areas during the trip.
1. Serve food and water to people in extreme poverty. (Dump Feeding)
2. Deliver kid ministry and enrichment to Dominican and Haitian disadvantaged Children. (Vacation Bible School)
3. Service Projects, which may include painting, cleaning and building homes. (Zion Village Support)
4. Village evangelism, allows us to present the gospel in a meaningful way to children and adults alike. (Movie Nights)
Contact us to learn more and and receive an information fact sheet with trip particulars. Please place in the subject line “DR2016″.
Many job seekers spend countless hours on job boards and resume submission sites. There is a better way. Enjoy learning how with Jamaal Abdul-Alim of Diverse Issues In Higher Education. The central theme of the article is to not get bogged down in the hiring funnel. The following is an excerpt from the article.
Despite the growing number of websites designed to connect college graduates to jobs, job seekers should focus on alternative ways to get in contact with the people who hire and fire.
That is the advice that Mark Griffin, a veteran human resources professional, offers in his newly released book, titled College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation.
“I would have to say that college students and others have very little chance of making it though the filter to actually get an interview, let alone make it to the point of job offer,” Griffin told Diverse, citing the “hiring funnel” and data that show that only 25 out of every 100 résumés among applicants will be seen by a hiring manager, and just four to six of those will lead to an actual interview.
“Some of these vacancies receive thousands of applicants per posting,” Griffin said. “Therefore your chances are decreased dramatically.”
Griffin’s remarks come at a time of increased emphasis on a college education as the means to a good job. It also comes at a time of a proliferation of websites — some free and some paid — meant to connect college graduates to the marketplace.
For further information, please contact:
Mark A. Griffin
Outside Sales Representative
GreenWay Fence & Railing Supply LLC. is committed to understanding, meeting and exceeding their customer’s expectations. They provide customers with the highest quality maintenance free outdoor products and services available at a competitive price – on time with complete satisfaction in an honest and ethical manner.
Purpose of Position:
The Outside Sales Representative is responsible for establishing and maintaining profitable relationships with customers. The Outside Sales Representative has primary responsibility for ensuring that the products meet the customer’s needs and grows the Company’s customer base within the sales territory.
Some Essential Duties
Identifies and targets new and existing customers in the Western Pennsylvania area, Western Albany, New York area, and the North East Ohio market based on revenue potential.
Works with whole sale fencing retailers/contractors, lumberyards, and building products distributors to promote GreenWay’s products and services by leading / supporting / coordinating efforts of these partners.
Needs to know the sales and installations of all GreenWay’s products.
Responsible for product training. Responsible for training customer’s sales team how to sell and install our products correctly. This could be one-on-one training, or in a group setting.
Responsible for notifying the right people at GreenWay to handle any concerns, or problems with the products that you are made aware of by the customer. You are the customer’s first contact. Be willing to take a call on a weekend, or after hours if a customer needs immediate assistance.
Some Position Requirements
High school diploma or GED.
A minimum of 5 years of outside sales experience preferred.
Sales experience with an emphasis in fences and railings a plus.
Knowledge of general construction.
Must have a valid driver’s license.
Ability to develop Power Point presentations and to communicate effectively during customer meetings.
Aptitude to maintain organized customer files containing account and customer information.
Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
Some Required Personal Attributes
Just like all GreenWay employees, the conduct of this contract representative must be consistent with good character, must be an appropriate reflective of our company’s heritage. Complete support of and willing adherence to GreenWay Fence & Railing Supply’s mission and vision. Applicant must hold these standards as his/her own.
All qualified individuals may submit a resume and letter of interest to:
“This is not a self help book… This is a book to help you create your best options, now and into the future…”
31 August 2015
College to Career, The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, a new book by accomplished human resources professional and author, Mark A. Griffin, will be released on Amazon.com on August 31, 2015.
This year, more than 1.6 million students will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree, after dedicating themselves to years of study and investing tens of thousands of dollars into their education.
The identified trend is that these inspired students are keen to kick-start their careers, leaping blindly into the workplace and asking questions later. Unfortunately, the majority find themselves in unrelated to their college major, feeling unfulfilled and demotivated. It’s a downward spiral from this point.
The book will help readers to target the career ideally suited to their personality, set up practical, actionable steps through each stage of college and translate their education into a meaningful career.
For further information, interviews or images, please contact:
Mark A. Griffin
Good news for tumultuous times!
Give your employees hope and a bright future in this upside down world.
Tremendous Life Books.com presents:
How To Build “High Performance” Organizations
Now more than ever, organizational leadership needs to create a platform to help employees succeed. Come and learn how to do this by implementing processes that will lead your organization to High Performance.
Leading an organization with clarity in Mission, Vision and, most importantly, Values makes good business sense. We call organizations that do that successfully, “High Performance Organizations,” or simply HPO’s.
The HPO experience:
Schedule Of Events
Free Gifts Include:
Mark will inspire you with his no nonsense approach to developing High Performance Organizations.
About The Speaker
Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In HIS Name HR LLC, a human resources outsourcing and career coaching firm created to help companies pilot the complex issues of managing HR.
As a human resources professional with 20-plus years of experience in both public (Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., Merck Inc.) and private companies (Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Valco Companies Inc.), Mark is passionate about building high performance workplaces through utilizing best practices while leading companies with strong values.
While serving in the United States Air Force, Mark received his Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Administration from Saint Leo University. He earned his MBA from Bloomsburg University while interning for Congressmen Kanjorski as a Military Liaison during the first Gulf War. Mark has completed several executive education programs at the University of Michigan and is a certified practitioner of the Myers Briggs Type Instrument MBTI®.
Mark and his wife, Gail, have two adult children, and recently celebrated their twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. They attend LCBC Church. Mark has traveled the world coaching leaders on “Buiness as Mission” in Eastern Europe and India and the Dominican Republic.
A recently published author (How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations) , speaker and accomplished HR consultant, Mark A. Griffin gives Christian leaders encouragement in building values-led organizations during these difficult economic times.
Christian Leadership Alliance Guest Post
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
This was so very true when it was written and still so very true today. The workers available to bring the good word to the world of Christ’s saving blood are few. This piece of Scripture is the foundation of what it is that we do here at In HIS Name HR.