Louisiana Staffing Company to Pay $179,000 in Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A federal judge has ruled in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in its sex discrimination lawsuit against a Louisiana staffing firm.

The EEOC had charged that Workplace Staffing Solutions, LLC, which operates an office in Gulfport, Miss., violated federal law when it failed to hire six women for residential temporary trashcan collector (RTCC) positions in Harrison County, Miss., because of their gender.

Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. ordered Workplace Staffing to pay $179,000 in total monetary damages according to the default judgment entered on July 7.

EEOC initially filed suit against Workplace Staffing in October 2015, charging that in September 2012, Workplace Staffing prevented qualified females, including Jonika Walton, from applying for an open RTCC position. Walton was told by a company representative the position was a "male-only" job. The court also found that Workplace Staffing denied at least five other qualified women the opportunity to apply for such positions because of their sex. Workplace Staffing told one woman it had only "industrial jobs that are usually for men," while another was told that the RTCC job was "more of a job for a guy."

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for employers to refuse to hire any individual because of sex. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Workplace Staffing Solutions, L.L.C., Case No. 1:15cv360LG-RHW) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after EEOC's Mobile Local Office completed an investigation and the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

After being served with notice of EEOC's suit, the company failed to respond EEOC's allegations, and, as a result, the court found Workplace Staffing liable for discriminatory conduct and awarded monetary relief totaling $179,000, including punitive damages, compensatory damages and back pay.

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