OUNCE OF PREVENTION = POUND OF CURE DEPARTMENT « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles



California Restaurant Pays $100,000 and Publicly Admits Required Corrections to Settle Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

California law requires employers with 50 or more employees and/or independent contractors to provide at least two hours of interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisors in California at least every two years. The next bi-annual deadline for many California employers is December 31, 2015. This training must include information and practical guidance regarding federal and state law prohibiting and preventing workplace sexual harassment. A supervisor is defined as “Supervisor means any individual having the authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or the responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend that action, if, in connection with the foregoing, the exercise of that authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.” The training must include practical examples of how to prevent harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and abusive conduct.

The courts are full of employment-related lawsuits that likely could have been prevented with better supervisory/management training. Witness the recent settlement in Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

In Spring, 2013, international restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday (an estimated 34,000 workers in 15 countries) posted an announcement within a 10-western states region for temporary summer positions in Park City, Utah with company-provided housing. According to the EEOC, the job posting limited applications to females only and Ruby Tuesday selected only women for those lucrative summer jobs. The restaurant chain justified its one-gender program by its concerns over housing male and female employees in the same dormitory.

The EEOC, responsible for enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (nicknamed “Title VII”) and other federal workplace anti-discrimination laws, sued Ruby Tuesday on behalf of two male employees, seeking monetary damages, required anti-discrimination training for supervisors, and the restaurant chain’s posting of warning notices throughout its multi-state network. Announcing the lawsuit, EEOC Attorney William R. Tamayo stated, “It’s rare to see an explicit example of sex discrimination like Ruby Tuesday’s internal job announcement. This suit is a cautionary tale to employers that sex-based employment decisions are rarely justified, and are not consistent with good business judgment.”

The parties settled the suit in May, 2015. According to the EEOC, Ruby Tuesday agreed to pay the two male employees a total of $100,000 and to take steps to prevent future sex discrimination, including Title VII training to its regional managers and employees (an estimated 1,600 individuals at 49 different locations) and posting reminder notices of the settlement terms on its website and at its restaurants.

The Law Offices of Timothy Bowles provides the required anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training and education that California directs for supervisors of covered employers. During October, November and December, 2015, our seminar delivery can or will be:

• At your location on available date(s): For larger companies, we can provide an on-site seminar at your place of business for a flat fee.

• In Pasadena, on Friday, October 30, 2015 and on Friday, November 20, 2015, by reservation: We are providing these two sessions at minimum at the Pasedena Senior Center for individual supervisors to attend locally. The fee is $65 per attendee.

For more information about our harassment and discrimination prevention training or workplace forms and policies, please contact Mary Cinquegrani in our office: (626) 583-6600 or seminars@tbowleslaw.com.

Cindy Bamforth, October 6, 2015