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Press Release 03-18-2020

BHT Constructions to Pay $38,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Suit

Construction Company Refuses to Hire Female Applicant, Federal Agency Charged

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - BHT Constructions LLC, a construction contracting company based in Davie, Fla., has agreed to pay $38,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that BHT violated federal law by failing to hire a well-qualified female applicant because of her sex. According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a woman who applied as a heavy machine operator and had over 20 years' experience doing the job was denied employment and told by a BHT supervisor that they "do not hire women."

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits emp­loyers from discriminating based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division (EEOC v. BHT Constructions LLC, Case No. 19-cv-62145-WPD-LSS) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $38,000 in monetary relief, the five-year consent decree settling the lawsuit provides for extensive injunctive relief to help secure a workplace free from sex discrimination. This includes requiring BHT to develop and distribute a written policy against sex discrimination and to conduct mandatory live anti-discrimination training for managers and employees. BHT must also post a notice at its worksites about the lawsuit and consent decree and advising BHT personnel of their rights.

"This settlement reflects the EEOC's strong commitment to protecting the rights of qualified applicants to seek and obtain employment without regard to their sex," said Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District. "Hiring decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about women are unlawful, and the EEOC will step in to stop it, with litigation when necessary." 

Michael Farrell, director of the EEOC's Miami District, said, "Rejecting qualified female applicants based on gender is a long-standing, clear violation of federal law. This resolution brings the EEOC closer to achieving its mission of eliminating sex discrimination from the workplace."

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.