1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. EEOC Sues Corning for Sex Discrimination
Press Release 12-16-2021

EEOC Sues Corning for Sex Discrimination

Company Grooms Male Employees for Advancement, Repeatedly Passing Over Women, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – Corning Incorporated violated federal law by failing to promote female “process assistants” (machine operators) at its Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations in western New York, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.  Corning is a multinational technology company that produces specialty glass, ceramics, and related materials and technologies, including advanced optics, primarily for industrial and scientific applications.   

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, at its Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations, Corning grooms male process assistants for advancement, provides them with training opportunities, and bends its own eligibility rules to place them in line lead positions instead of similarly or more qualified women. This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex.

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Corning Incorporated, Civil Action No. 6:21-cv-06745) in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, after the parties were unable to reach a pre-litigation settlement through EEOC’s conciliation process.  The EEOC seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as backpay for the female employees who were passed over for promotional opportunities because of their sex.  The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent sex discrimination in the workplace.  The agency’s litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Renay Oliver and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.
“It’s regrettable that such discriminatory barriers continue to prevent qualified women from receiving the promotions they deserve,” said Jeffrey Burstein, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “Employers must provide a fair and level playing field for all employees.”

Judy Keenan, District Director of the New York District Office, added, “The EEOC will enforce the law to ensure that employers provide female workers the same opportunities for advancement as male workers, especially in fields traditionally dominated by men.”

For more information about sex discrimination, please visit

The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for addressing discrimination charges and conducting agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.  

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.