$550,000 Payment for EEOC Charge of Sex Discrimination Against The Western Sugar Cooperative, Training Ordered

Monday, October 10, 2011

Question:  Would sex discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

The Western Sugar Cooperative (Western Sugar) has agreed to pay $550,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a systemic investigation alleging sex discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Following an investigation, the EEOC found that Western Sugar denied women training and promotions, gave them less desirable work assignments and segregated positions by gender, denied year-round employment, and paid lower wages to women at its Ft. Morgan, Colo., facility. These allegations were brought to the EEOC by a female employee, Lorelei Kilker, who filed charges on behalf of herself and other women.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Western Sugar denied the allegations, any wrongdoing, or any violation of applicable law, but agreed to resolve the matter with the EEOC through the agency’s conciliation process in order to avoid the significant cost of litigation. Western Sugar maintains that it is an equal opportunity employer that does not engage in discrimination or other unlawful conduct.

Under the agreement reached between the parties, Western Sugar will pay Kilker and a class of women a total of $550,000. Furthermore, Western Sugar agreed to remedial relief such as training for all employees, outreach to women organizations within the community and training managers on EEO compliance--all in order to prevent sex-based discrimination and to ensure equality in its workplaces. Western Sugar has also appointed an internal representative who will report to the EEOC to monitor Western Sugar’s promotion and employment practices for the next three years.

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