According to a press release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Performance Food Groups, Inc., and its affiliate corporations (PFG) have a history of refusing to hire women for jobs as selector; receiving clerk; yard jockey; driver; driver trainee; driver check-in; forklift operator; mechanic; dispatcher; fueler; meat cutter; meat packer; router; sanitation specialist; transportation supervisors; and warehouse supervisors.
This week, the EEOC announced it has filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the company.
The press release from the EEOC states that high-ranking officials within the company, including the company’s senior vice presidents, repeatedly made comments and gave directives to managers about favoring the hiring of males over females.
“Company vice presidents openly proclaimed a bias against employing women, including stating that women cannot do warehouse work and questioning,” the EEOC states.
“Why would we ever waste our time bringing in females?”
The Vice presidents were also hear saying that women would slow down the operation and that it would be a good idea to get the females “out of here,” the EEOC alleges.
In addition, company officials allegedly pressured one of their facilities to fire a female employe and asked managers why they continue to “hire these girls,” the EEOC said in the lawsuit.
Furthermore, the EEOC claims that PFG refused to promote Julie Lawrence to a position for which she was qualified, because of her gender.
“Lawrence’s immediate supervisor urged her to apply for a promotion to a nighttime warehouse training supervisor position and gave her resume to a corporate vice president of operations for his consideration. Despite this recommendation, and the company’s own policy which says the company’s philosophy was to promote from within when possible, the vice president refused to look at Lawrence’s resume, stating, ‘I am not interested in seeing anything from a woman,'” the EEOC states.
Discriminating against an employee because of his or her gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or religion violates a person’s civil rights.
The EEOC is seeking lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages for Lawrence and other women who were discriminated against by PFG.
“The EEOC has devoted significant resources to ensuring compliance with Title VII through outreach and technical assistance,” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. “This case demonstrates once again, however, that the EEOC is prepared to use litigation where necessary when employers engage in broad-based patterns of sex discrimination in hiring and promotions.”
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said, “This type of blatant discrimination is a priority for the EEOC. No employer has the right to reject female applicants based on outdated stereotypes or biases that women cannot perform jobs in traditionally male-dominated workplaces.”
District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office added, “The EEOC is committed to eradicating discriminatory barriers in employment that wrongfully prevent women from getting jobs or promotions for which they are qualified.”
Women who believe they may have been denied a position at PFG because of their sex and individuals who may have any information that would be helpful to the EEOC’s suit against PFG should contact the EEOC by e-mail at [email protected].