Federal Agency Asserts That Coal Mine’s Failure to Hire Qualified Female Applicants Violated Civil Rights Law
CHICAGO – Mach Mining, LLC, headquartered in Marion, Ill., violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to hire any female miners since beginning operations in 2006, despite having received applications from many highly qualified women, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a suit filed today.
The EEOC said that the southern Illinois coal mine operator received applications from scores of women since 2006, and yet never hired even a single female for any of the mining positions. Nor were bathrooms or changing facilities provided for women miners in the newly constructed facility, the EEOC said. The mine employs over 130 men in various coal extraction jobs.
Sex discrimination in employment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in Benton after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit, EEOC v. Mach Mining Co., Case No. 11-879-JPG/PMF, was assigned to United States District Judge J. Phil Gilbert.
“Mach Mining needs to realize that this is 2011, not 1911,” said EEOC Chicago District Office Supervisory Trial Attorney Gregory Gochanour. “While the number of women in the mining industry is still much lower than their numbers in the general population, women miners are out there, they were applying at Mach Mines, and they had a right to be considered on their qualifications and merits.”
EEOC Regional Attorney John Hendrickson added, “We hope that this case will encourage employers to look at their policies. A policy which results in a work force that looks dramatically different than the applicant pool is a policy worth reconsidering.”
The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.