Americas




Company Resolves Disability Discrimination Suit for US$80,000
Employment and Workplace Issues

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that South Basin Packing has agreed to pay US$80,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, brought against it by the EEOC. The company allegedly dismissed an employee after being informed that he had been diagnosed with a severe medical condition. In addition to monetary relief, the company is required to implement new policies, train employees, prevent disability discrimination and report to the EEOC on its handling of disability discrimination complaints.
EEOC’s media release (30 March 2011)
(Source: EEOC)


Retail Giant Embroiled in Sex Discrimination Suit
Employment and Workplace Issues, Respect in the Workplace

The Guardian reports that the outcome of a class action sex discrimination lawsuit brought against Walmart by “more than a million women employed” by the retail giant, could “redefine discrimination cases in the US”. However, conservative judges are reportedly criticising lawyers attempting to bring the case, with Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia stating that “Walmart’s record on pay and promotion was better than the US average”. Reportedly, the lawsuit alleges that the company follows practices that stereotypes women, causing discrepancies in promotion and pay, and the case has the potential to reach billions of dollars.
Guardian: Walmart sex-bias case divides US supreme court (30 March 2011)

Related news items:
Los Angeles Times (LA Times): Supreme Court hears arguments in Wal-Mart sex discrimination case (29 March 2011)
Reuters: Scenarios: Wal-Mart sex discrimination case at top court (29 March 2011)
(Source: Guardian; LA Times; Reuters)


Company Settles Retaliation Suit for US$95,000
Employment and Workplace Issues, Respect in the Workplace

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Southeastern Telecom has agreed to pay US$95,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit, brought against it by the EEOC. Southeastern Telecom allegedly dismissed an employee following her complaint of sex discrimination that included concerns of unequal pay. The company is prohibited from engaging in retaliatory conduct against any employee or applicant, is required to provide adequate training to staff and revise its complaints policy, among other things.
EEOC’s media release (28 March 2011)
(Source: EEOC)


Bias Lawsuit Against Bank Dismissed
Employment and Workplace Issues

Reuters reports that a group of black financial advisers at the former Merrill Lynch & Co who filed a lawsuit against Bank of America (BofA), alleging “systematic discrimination in hiring, pay and promotions” as compared to their white counterparts, have had their case dismissed. The brokers reportedly complained that white brokers received the more lucrative accounts and that their bonuses were based on fees earned on clients assets causing them to be “grossly underrepresented in top quintiles and overrepresented in bottom quintiles” . Reportedly, the court did not find evidence that the bonus program was designed to discriminate.
Reuters: Black brokers lose bias suit against BofA/Merrill (30 March 2011)
(Source: Reuters)


Company Agrees to Pay US$750,000 in Back Wages
Employment and Workplace Issues

The US Department of Labor (DoL) has announced that Arizona Pipeline Co has agreed to pay US$750,000 in back wages to 740 employees following a finding that the company breached overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigations found that employees were not paid for “pre-shift and post-shift time required for loading and unloading material, cleaning trucks or picking up equipment”. Additionally, the company did not reimburse workers for travel expenses incurred while commuting from the company to job sites, did not pay them for monthly meetings and “docked a half-hour lunch time from employees’ pay” despite workers taking a shorter lunch break.
DoL’s media release (30 March 2011)
(Source: DoL)