A Chicago-area staffing agency will pay $800,000 under a consent decree resolving two discrimination lawsuits filed by the EEOC. The EEOC's two lawsuits alleged multiple violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Specifically, the EEOC charged that Source One Staffing, Inc. engaged in the following unlawful conduct: the company 1) assigned female employees to a known hostile work environment; 2) retaliated against two female employees who reported that their supervisor was making sexual advances toward them; 3) categorized jobs as "men's work" or "women's work" and assigned employees accordingly; 4) asked impermissible pre-employment medical questions in violation of the ADA; and 5) failed or refused to assign employees to certain jobs because of their race and/or national origin.
The consent decree settling the suits provides $800,000 in monetary relief. Of that, $70,000 will go to the sexual harassment and retaliation victims. The remaining $730,000 will be distributed evenly to a class of female employees who were not considered for certain work on the basis of their sex.
The decree also requires Source One to take the following affirmative steps: 1) train its employees on employees' rights under Title VII and the ADA; 2) report complaints of discrimination during the decree's three-year term; 3) change its employment policies and practices to conform to the ADA and Title VII; and 4) post a notice of the decree at all of its locations. Finally, Source One's compliance with decree will be overseen by an independent monitor for the next three years.
The EEOC determined that Source One violated federal anti-discrimination law in multiple ways. Further, staffing agencies must understand that they are not immune from enforcement of federal anti-discrimination laws. This decree sends a strong signal to other staffing agencies that if they engage in discrimination, especially several different kinds of it, it will prove costly.