1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Gold, Inc. / Sammy's Gentlemen's Club to Pay $20,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
Press Release 12-10-2019

Gold, Inc. / Sammy's Gentlemen's Club to Pay $20,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

 Gentlemen's Club in Florida Refused to Hire Male Bartender Because of His Sex, Federal Agency Charged

PENSACOLA, Fla. -  Gold, Inc., doing business as Sammy's Gentlemen's Club, an adult entertainment establishment based in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has agreed to pay $20,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Sammy's refused to consider James Sharp for a bartender position because of his gender. When he attempted to apply at Sammy's Fort Walton Beach location, Sharp was refused a job application. Sammy's general manager told Sharp that Sammy's does not hire male bartenders.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on a person's sex. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-00439-RV-HTC) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division on June 29, 2017 after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the lawsuit requires Sammy's to provide training to its employees on its obligations under the law and review its anti-discrimination policy. The decree also prohibits Sammy's from engaging in discrimination or retaliation because of sex in the future and requires the company to post notices on its bulletin boards informing employees of their right to contact the EEOC if they feel they have been discriminated or retaliated against.

"Federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on sex," said Bradley Anderson, district director of the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "An employer that makes hiring decisions based on a person's gender violates the law, except in very limited circumstances. Barring an entire gender - half the population - from a bartending job is certainly not one of those exceptions."  

EEOC regional attorney Marsha Rucker added, "A customer's or coworker's supposed pref­erence for an employee of a certain gender does not justify sex discrimination. This lawsuit is a reminder that employers who cater to such preferences, real or imagined, risk liability for themselves."

The EEOC's Birmingham District Office has jurisdiction over Alabama, Mississippi (all but 17 counties in the northern part of Mississippi) and the Florida Panhandle.

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.