The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
9-1-09

MARS SUPER MARKETS TO PAY $275,000 AND OFFER JOBS TO WOMEN TO SETTLE EEOC SEX DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

Class of Women Denied Meat Cutter Positions, Agency Charged

BALTIMORE -- Mars Super Markets, Inc., a Baltimore-based supermarket chain, will pay $275,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a class sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to EEOC’s suit (JFM-08-2570), filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, Mars refused to hire part-time deli clerk Gail Brown as an apprentice meat cutter at a Dundalk, Md., Mars store because she is a woman. Mars, which operates 16 grocery stores in the Baltimore metropolitan area, had an ongoing pattern of failing to hire females as meat cutters and also failed to preserve various personnel and employment records, which also violated federal law.

Refusing to hire qualified applicants because of their gender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

“Eliminating an entire gender – half the population – from consideration for a particular type of job makes no sense and clearly violates decades-old federal law,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Let this settlement be a reminder and a warning: The EEOC will hold perpe­trators of such anachronistic employment practices accountable for their flagrant flouting of anti-discrimination laws.”

Brown said, "I want to thank EEOC and my attorney, Darcy Massof. I hope this helps women in the future get hired on their ability and not their gender."

The consent decree settling the case, pending court approval, mandates that Brown will receive back pay, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees of $118,000. The decree also provides back pay to other identified female applicants for the position of meat cutter that were denied hire because of their gender.

Along with the relief paid to the class members, the three-year decree provides for significant remedial relief, including Mars’ agreement to:

“We brought this lawsuit to advance everyone’s legal right to a workplace free of sex discrimination and to remind employers that they must make employment decisions based on the applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the job rather than on stereotypes,” said EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence.

In Fiscal Year 2008, the EEOC received 28,372 charges of sex-based discrimination.

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


This page was last modified on September 1, 2009.

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