Press Release 11-22-2019

Compass Group USA Settles EEOC Lawsuit Charging Sex Discrimination in Promotion


Food Services Supplier Failed to Promote Female Employee to Sous Chef, Federal Agency Alleged

HOUSTON - Compass Group USA, Inc. will pay $10,000 to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's suit, Patricia Joyce applied for and was not selected to a sous chef vacancy at Compass Group's University of Texas Medical Branch location in Galveston, Texas. The agency charged that Joyce was qualified for the position but was not chosen to fill it because of her sex, female. The agency also said that, when she complained about her non-selection, Joyce was demoted and transferred to a different location as retaliation.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex with regard to promotion and also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee or applicant because the person opposed discriminatory conduct. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division (EEOC v. Compass Group USA, Inc., Civil Action No. 3-18-cv-57) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation processes.

The three-year consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown, requires the company to pay $10,000 in monetary relief to Joyce; provide training to executive chefs, managers and employees at two of the company's locations; and post an anti-discrim­ination notice.

"The EEOC seeks to ensure that individual employers understand that assumptions about gender roles should have no place in workplace decisions," said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney of the EEOC's Houston District Office.

The EEOC's Houston District Office has jurisdiction over parts of Texas and all of Louisiana.

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.