Performance Food Group charged with refusing to hire women for 'male' positions.
from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
BALTIMORE, June 17, 2013, A national marketer and distributor of national and proprietary-branded food and food-related products engaged in a pattern or practice of failing to hire female applicants for operative positions at distribution centers nationwide, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, since at least January 1, 2004, Performance Food Group, Inc, and its predecessor, subsidiary and affiliate companies (PFG), have engaged in an ongoing pattern of refusing to hire women for operative positions at their broadline distribution facilities. These operative positions include: selector; receiving clerk; yard jockey; driver; driver trainee; driver check-in; forklift operator; mechanic; dispatcher; fueler; meat cutter; meat packer; router; sanitation specialist; transportation supervisors; and warehouse supervisors.
Company vice presidents openly proclaimed a bias against employing women, including stating that women cannot do warehouse work and questioning, “Why would we ever waste our time bringing in females?”
Vice presidents also said that women would slow down the operation and that it would be a good idea to get the females “out of here.” Company officials also pressured one facility to discharge a female employee and asked why they continued to “hire these girls,” the EEOC said in the lawsuit.
The EEOC further alleged that PFG refused to promote Julie Lawrence to a position for which she was qualified, based on gender. Lawrence’s immediate supervisor urged her to apply for a promotion to a nighttime warehouse training supervisor position and gave her resume to a corporate vice president of operations for his consideration. Despite this recommendation, and the company’s own policy which says the company’s philosophy was to promote from within when possible, the vice president refused to look at Lawrence’s resume, stating, “I am not interested in seeing anything from a woman,” the EEOC charged.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Performance Food Group, Inc, et al, case number 1:13-cv-01712-WDQ) in US District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In its lawsuit, the EEOC seeks
injunctive relief prohibiting PFG from refusing to hire or promote women based on sex;
equitable relief that provides equal employment opportunities for females;
lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages; and
other affirmative relief for Lawrence and other similarly situated women who were harmed by PFG’s discriminatory conduct.
“This type of blatant discrimination is a priority for the EEOC. No employer has the right to reject female applicants based on outdated stereotypes or biases that women cannot perform jobs in traditionally male-dominated workplaces.”
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M Lawrence said, “This type of blatant discrimination is a priority for the EEOC. No employer has the right to reject female applicants based on outdated stereotypes or biases that women cannot perform jobs in traditionally male-dominated workplaces.”
District Director Spencer H Lewis, Jr. of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office added, “The EEOC is committed to eradicating discriminatory barriers in employment that wrongfully prevent women from getting jobs or promotions for which they are qualified.”
Women who believe they may have been denied a position at PFG because of their sex and individuals who may have any information that would be helpful to the EEOC’s suit against PFG should contact the EEOC by e-mail
According to its web site, pfgc.com, Performance Food Group, Inc., employs more than 11,000 people nationwide. The company, through its foodservice distributors, delivers over 98,000 national and proprietary-branded food and food-related products to more than 165,000 independent and national chain restaurants, quick-service eateries, pizzerias, theaters, schools, hotels, healthcare facilities and other institutions.
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).© Copyright 2013 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, All rights Reserved. Written For: StraightGoods.ca