Federal Agency Charged Company Fired Female Employee but Provided Male Counterpart With More Opportunities
ATLANTA - Filterfresh Coffee Services, Inc., a coffee service provider with more than 40 locations nationwide, will pay $90,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, filed on Sept. 29, 2011 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division (Case No.: 1:11-cv-03331-HTW-GGB), the EEOC charged that Filterfresh fired business development representative Kelli Easterling from its Atlanta branch after she purportedly failed to reach the company's profit goals. However, a male counterpart, who also had difficulty reaching the company's profit goals, was afforded greater opportunities by management to ensure his success.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from subjecting employees to discrimination and disparate treatment due to gender. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting of complaints of discrimination and posting of anti-discrimination notices. In the suit and consent decree, Filterfresh denied any liability or wrongdoing.
"The EEOC filed this lawsuit because the difference in treatment between these employees was clear, and a woman lost her livelihood," said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. "It is illegal under federal law to treat employees differently because of their gender. This resolution, we trust, will prevent such disparate treatment in the future."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.