Most large employers are familiar with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Indeed, for any employer with over 50 employees here in Chicago, Illinois, is likely intimately familiar with the EEOC, and if they are not, a recent story should be a warning to them.
Joe & the Juice
The nationwide restaurant chain, Joe & the Juice specializes in sandwiches, coffee and, of course, all things juice, but according to the EEOC, they do not specialize in hiring female employees. According to the EEOC, they allege that the company failed to promote, hire or recruit female employees to their restaurants since at least 2017. And, this has cost them nearly $715,000.
The Conciliation Agreement
The EEOC and Joe & the Juice entered into the Conciliation Agreement without the company admitting any fault and without litigation. However, the EEOC did find cause to believe that the company did commit sex-based discrimination that violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The $715,000 establishes a fund for female applicants who were not hired or who were not promoted to management positions. The company also agreed to appoint an Equal Employment Opportunity monitor to ensure that the company recruits, hires and promotes females in the future. Moreover, the company will develop and implement new policies and procedures, in addition to online platforms to ensure equal access to those promotional opportunities.
Finally, the company also will revise its discrimination investigation and complaint procedures, in addition to its discrimination training for management. The company will also conduct periodic and anonymous discrimination climate surveys of their in-store workforce to make sure that there are no hidden issues. The EEO and the EEOC will both monitor the company for the next four years to ensure the company actually follows through with the employee-labor agreement.