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PRESS RELEASE
11-6-15

EEOC Sues Workplace Staffing Solutions for Rejecting Women for Trashcan Collector Jobs

Louisiana Staffing Firm Failed to Hire at Least 34 Qualified Women Because of Their Sex, Federal Agency Charges

GULFPORT, Miss. - Workplace Staffing Solutions, L.L.C., a Louisiana company operating an office in Gulfport, Miss., violated federal law by failing to hire at least 34 qualified women for temporary residential trashcan collector (RTCC) positions in Harrison County, Miss., because of their sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on Oct. 26.

According to EEOC's lawsuit, in September 2012, a qualified female, responding to an advertisement, contacted Workplace Staffing and attempted to apply for an open temporary position as an RTCC in Harrison County. She was told that the position was a "male only" job, and was prevented from applying. The agency charges that at least 33 other qualified women applied for RTCC positions, or any available position, but were never hired or offered a position. EEOC said that Workplace Staffing hired up to 130 men for these positions, and no women.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it is unlawful for employers to fail to hire any person because of his or her sex. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Workplace Staffing Solutions, L.L.C., Case No. 1:15cv360LG-RHW) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after EEOC's Mobile Local Office completed its investigation and after the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks monetary damages, including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, hiring into the positions wrongfully denied the female applicants, where appropriate, and injunctive relief.

"The law demands that women receive equal employment opportunities," said C. Emanuel Smith, regional attorney for EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "Employers are not allowed to presume that women would not be interested in or capable of performing certain types of jobs. This lawsuit should remind employers that EEOC will take action when a company impermissibly makes hiring decisions based on gender stereotypes."

Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for EEOC's Birmingham District, said, "Sadly, even 50 years after Congress acted to make workplace discrimination against women illegal, some employers continue to make decisions based on stereotypical views about women. EEOC will act to strike down such barriers which prevent women from entering the workforce."

EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. EEOC's Birmingham District consists of Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.