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Gender-based Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit Settlement-- Gravel Company to Pay Nearly $500K

March 1, 2010

As Santa Ana Labor and Employment Attorneys, we have been following the recent announcement that Oldcastle SW Group, Inc., operating as United Companies of Mesa County, has settled a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit for nearly $500,000, that was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former female employee.

According to the lawsuit, the female employee was hired in 1998 by Delta Sand and Gravel in Colorado (now part of Old Castle Group, and doing business as United Companies of Mesa County), to drive a truck, dispatch trucks, batch concrete, perform plant manager duties, and act as a quality control technician--the role in which she remained until she was allegedly wrongfully terminated.

The suit charges that the female worker spent a majority of her employment doing what is largely considered to be the "job of a man." The employee alleged that once she became a quality control technician, she started experiencing blatant sex-based discrimination, with workers and managers making harassing comments based on gender and engaging in sex based name-calling that interfered with her ability to perform her job duties.

Many of the employee's male co-workers reportedly witnessed the sex-based discrimination and offered to support her if she filed a complaint. After complaining to the management, and naming the male witnesses, the men confirmed her allegations, although admitted fear that they might be retaliated against for standing up for their female co-worker. According to the complaint filed by the EEOC, the men were subsequently subjected to serious retaliation, including name-calling, harassment, and threats to keep quiet. Over the course of the next seven months, the woman and two of the male employees who stood up for her rights were reportedly wrongfully terminated.

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to harass or discriminate against employees based on gender, and against the law to retaliate against a worker who files a complaint about workplace discrimination, or co-workers who support an employee's complaint.

Old Castle SW Group, who does business as United Companies of Mesa County, agreed to the $498,000 monetary settlement, as well as a three-year decree that keeps the company from gender-based discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. The employer will also post notices of the company's commitment to a work environment free from harassment, discrimination and retaliation and will train its current and future managers on anti-discrimination laws.

If you or someone you know in Orange County or throughout Southern California has experienced gender-based harassment, discrimination, retaliation in the workplace, or wrongful termination, our dedicated team of Southern California Labor & Employment Attorneys can help find a solution for your recovery. Call Howard Law, PC today, for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925.

Western Slope Sand & Gravel Company Pays Nearly Half Million to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit, EEOC Press Release, February 24, 2010

Gravel Firm to Pay $498K in Sex Discrimination Case, Montrose Daily Press, February 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:

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