Joe & the Juice settles EEOC sex charge
Our state prides itself on our personal freedoms. We do not like being told what to do around here, and that includes Texas-based businesses in Donna and Arlington, Texas. However, for those larger businesses, you must comply with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the federal civil rights statutes it enforces, as well as the state anti-discrimination statutes it does not enforce. One company that has learned this the hard way is national juice sensation, Joe & the Juice.
Joe & the Juice, the business
Known for its various juices, Joe & the Juice is a nationally known restaurant. However, it also sells sandwiches and coffee. It operates stores throughout the country. Since at least June of 2017, the EEOC states that it has had a sex-based discrimination problem.
The sex-based discrimination problem
Since June of 2017, the EEOC claims that the company did not promote their female in-store employees to management positions. In addition, they failed to recruit or hire new female employees. As a result, many were forced to leave to seek better opportunities elsewhere or left without employment altogether.
Sex-based discrimination charge
The EEC filed a charge of discrimination against Joe & the Juice, claiming sex-based discrimination that violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, in the pre-litigation process, they reached a settlement (called a Conciliation Agreement).
Essentially, the company created a $715,000 victim’s fund for both current employees and those who were not hired as a result of sex-based discrimination. They agreed to be monitored by an independent, third-party; change internal policies, train management and start a new online staff development portal. The EEOC will monitor the company performance over the next four years, and if they fail in their duties, the litigation will continue, regardless of the amounts already paid out to victims.
For employers, the takeaway here is that the EEOC has teeth. And, they are not afraid to bite. When you get that initial complaint, it is best to try and seek a resolution early to avoid large penalties later. You can bring in an Arlington, Texas, employment law attorney to right the ship and avoid further bleeding too.