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Addressing Sex and Gender Discrimination in the Hiring Process

Addressing Sex and Gender Discrimination in the Hiring Process

Despite the fact that everyone knows there are laws against gender discrimination, many New York employers still think they can get away with blatantly sexist hiring practices. In fact, many employers continue to hire less-qualified male applicants to the detriment of female applicants. This is why it is so important for the affected applicants to take action and file employment discrimination complaints with the relevant government agencies.

Upstate Dairy Co-op Faces Trial Over Refusal to Hire Women

On October 26, 2018, a federal judge in upstate New York denied a defense motion to dismiss a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a number of female job applicants. According to the EEOC the defendant, a dairy-farm cooperative, “has engaged in unlawful employment practices at its three largest facilities by failing to hire qualified women for various positions in favor of equally or less qualified men.” The EEOC said its investigation revealed that at two of the three facilities, the defendant “hired no women” at all for “production-related positions.” And overall, the defendant only offered five out of 160 production jobs to female applicants.

To illustrate the extent of the problem, the EEOC pointed to the case of one woman who had “over 10 years of experience as a machine operator and 7.5 years of production-related experience.” The EEOC said the woman was never even given an interview. To add insult to injury, the defendant ended up hiring the woman's husband for the job.

The EEOC said it was first alerted to problems with this defendant when another female job applicant filed a formal charge. The agency said it ultimately determined the specific facts alleged in that charge–which related to the defendant's requirement that new hires pass a physical exam–did not warrant a finding of sex discrimination. However, as noted above, the EEOC found evidence of other practices that did violate the law and filed a lawsuit in federal court on that basis.

Before the court, the defendant argued that the EEOC exceeded its legal authority when it raised allegations “outside the scope” of the initial charge. The judge disagreed. He noted that unlike sex discrimination claims filed by private parties, EEOC actions “are not limited to the claims presented by the charging parties.” The charge simply allows the EEOC to open an investigation. If that leads the agency to uncover evidence of previously unreported discrimination in the “course of a reasonable investigation” into the initial charge, that is perfectly acceptable under the law. The EEOC can therefore proceed with its lawsuit.

Contact a New York City Sex Discrimination Lawyer Today

Sex and gender discrimination is rarely a one-time affair. If an employer has illegally discriminated against you, it has likely done so against others. That is why you need to contact a qualified New York employment attorney who can assist you with investigating your case and filing a charge with the EEOC or local authorities. Contact the offices of of White, Nisar & Hilferty, LLP, if you need help today.

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