Mars Super Markets to Pay $275,000 and Offer Jobs to Women in Sex Bias Suit

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Mars Super Markets, Inc., a Baltimore-based supermarket chain, will pay $275,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a class sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

According to EEOC’s suit (JFM-08-2570), filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, Mars refused to hire part-time deli clerk Gail Brown as an apprentice meat cutter at a Dundalk, Md., Mars store because she is a woman. Mars, which operates 16 grocery stores in the Baltimore metropolitan area, had an ongoing pattern of failing to hire females as meat cutters and also failed to preserve various personnel and employment records, which also violated federal law.

Refusing to hire qualified applicants because of their gender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

“Eliminating an entire gender – half the population – from consideration for a particular type of job makes no sense and clearly violates decades-old federal law,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Let this settlement be a reminder and a warning: The EEOC will hold perpe­trators of such anachronistic employment practices accountable for their flagrant flouting of anti-discrimination laws.”

Brown said, "I want to thank EEOC and my attorney, Darcy Massof. I hope this helps women in the future get hired on their ability and not their gender."

The consent decree settling the case, pending court approval, mandates that Brown will receive back pay, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees of $118,000. The decree also provides back pay to other identified female applicants for the position of meat cutter that were denied hire because of their gender.

Along with the relief paid to the class members, the three-year decree provides for significant remedial relief, including Mars’ agreement to:

  • extend job offers to women denied meat cutter jobs;
  • post a notice to all female applicants and employees who were denied the job advising them that they may be entitled to job offers and should contact the EEOC;
  • submit written reports to EEOC regarding the employment status of eligible claimants;
  • refrain from discriminating on the basis of sex in any way;
  • maintain employment records in compliance with Title VII;
  • develop job descriptions for meat cutter positions;
  • post a non-discrimination notice to employees and applicants; and
  • provide anti-discrimination training to all current and all future officers, managers and supervisors.
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