The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
6-15-09

TWO SAN ANTONIO COMPANIES SETTLE EEOC SEX DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

Day Porter Fired Because of Her Sex, Federal Agency Charged

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A San Antonio maintenance company and a real estate management company will pay $29,500 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

San Antonio Building Services & Supply, LLC, (SABSS) and CB Richard Ellis, Inc. (CBRE), the company that purchased the Trammell Crow Company, violated federal law by firing a day porter at a Wells Fargo Bank building in San Antonio because of her sex, the EEOC charged. SABSS is a locally owned company that provided janitorial services to the building pursuant to a service contract it entered with Trammell Crow, which managed the property.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the day porter was fired after a health-related absence from work, supposedly because the employers wanted “someone with more mechanical and maintenance experience,” even though there had been no problems with the woman’s performance. The employers replaced her with a man who had no more mechanical and maintenance experience than she had, the EEOC said, demonstrating that the remarks about “experience” were simply gender stereotypes without foundation. The EEOC also charged that SABSS refused to rehire the female employee in retaliation for her filing a sex-based discrimination complaint with the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (Civil Action No. SA08CA0257) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

According to the settlement terms, SABSS and CBRE will pay $29,500 to settle the sex-based discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. In addition to the monetary relief, the two-year decree settling the suit enjoins SABSS and prohibits CBRE from engaging in sex-based discrimination and from retaliating against employees who complain about discrimination. Both SABSS and CBRE agreed to monitoring by the EEOC, training of their respective employees on sex-based employment discrimination and retaliation, and the posting of notices.

“As a result of the EEOC’s actions, both of these companies recognized their obligations as employers to provide their employees with a workplace free of sex-based discrimination and an environment where their employees feel comfortable to bring complaints to members of management,” said EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Judith G. Taylor. “We hope that this lawsuit reminds other employers of these same obligations under federal law.”

Senior Trial Attorney Eduardo Juarez of the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office said, “We are especially pleased that both of these employers shared our determination to reach a just and equitable result and that everyone will be able to avoid the burdens and delay of protracted litigation.”

In Fiscal Year 2008, the EEOC received 28,372 charges of sex-based discrimination and 32,690 charges of retaliation discrimination such charges nationwide. The agency resolved 24,018 sex-based discrimination charges in that year and recovered $109.3 million in monetary benefits for victims of this misconduct. The EEOC also resolved 25,999 retaliation charges in that year and recovered more than $111 million in monetary benefits for victims. This recovery does not include monetary benefits obtained through litigation.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.


This page was last modified on June 15, 2009.

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