Sanitation Co. Charged with Not Hiring Females Settles for $475,000

Robertson Sanitation, a Phoenix-based trash hauling, recycling, and disposal company that operates in Georgia, will pay $475,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced last week.

According to EEOC's suit, Jeanine Moore applied for a truck driver position with Robertson at its Winder, Ga., facility in August 2005. Although she was more qualified than a number of male applicants who were hired, Moore was never interviewed and never received an offer. EEOC said that the job applications for the Winder location between January 2005 and September 2006 shows that some of the men hired were less qualified than Moore, including six males who the agency claims lacked the company's minimum qualifications for the truck driver position. Investigation of Moore's allegations revealed a class of similarly qualified women who, like Moore, were also rejected despite their qualifications. EEOC said the employer subjected female applicants to discriminatory hiring practices at the Winder facility as well as at its facility in Austell, Ga.

The consent decree settling the suit provides for $475,000 in monetary relief to the class of qualified female applicants who were discriminatorily rejected for employment between Jan. 1, 2005, and Oct. 31, 2006. Moore will receive $70,000 in damages while the remaining funds will be distributed among the remaining qualified claimants whose eligibility will be determined by a procedure set forth in the decree, according to EEOC. In addition to the monetary relief, the company, a division of Republic Services of Georgia, has agreed to exercise good faith in offering employment to qualified female applicants for residential, commercial, industrial and roll-off truck driver positions at the Winder and Austell facilities. According to the decree, "good faith will be measured against the standard of offering employment to at least 70% of the females in the qualified applicant pool."

The decree has a term of four years and requires Robertson to submit a report each year identifying the name, sex, and qualifications of all qualified applicants for truck driver positions, the persons offered positions, and the persons hired. Robertson also must maintain all driver applications for the duration of the decree for inspection and provide an explanation for each time a qualified female applicant is not offered a position. EEOC will have the right to review Robertson's compliance with the requirements of the decree through, among other things, inspection of all documents used or considered in the hiring process. The decree also provides that Robertson shall not discriminate against qualified applicants on the basis of gender, nor retaliate against any person who opposed discriminatory practices or participates in proceedings under Title VII. The decree includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and posting of notices.

In the suit and consent decree, the company denied any liability or wrongdoing.

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