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EEOC Sues Maxwell House and Kraft Foods for Sex Discrimination

November 5, 2010

In recent news that our Santa Ana employment attorneys have been watching, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently brought a lawsuit against the Maxwell House Coffee Division of Kraft Foods, alleging that the company violated federal law by subjecting a female employee to job discrimination and termination based on her sex.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, in the Maxwell's coffee division at the Jacksonville plant, Francena Smith was involved in an incident where coffee was found to be damaged and unusable in June of 2008.

Maxwell House reportedly has a disciplinary policy in place that involves four steps of action, beginning with an oral reprimand, then a written reprimand, followed by suspension and finally termination.

After the incident, Smith was suspended even though she had not received any disciplinary action in the prior two years. Male workers who had similar employment records had reportedly only received oral reprimands.

In October of 2008, Smith and a male coworker were involved in two more incidents where coffee was found to be damaged. Smith's male colleague only received an oral reprimand, where Smith claimed to have experienced termination based on gender.

As our employment lawyers in Carson, California have reported in a related blog, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is against the law to discriminate against employees based on gender, and illegal to retaliate against a worker who files a complaint about workplace discrimination, or co-workers who support an employee's complaint.

The EEOC reports that although a union arbiter ordered that Smith be reinstated in March 2010, she did not receive monetary damages and filed a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

In cities throughout Orange County, California, contact Howard Law, PC today.

Kraft Foods/Maxwell House Sued by EEOC For Sex Discrimination, EEOC Press Release, October 27, 2010

Maxwell House Faces Equality Lawsuit Regarding Jacksonville Employee, The Florida Times-Union, October 27, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (EEOC)