Diversity & Inclusion

Tavern on the Green settles for $2.2 million with EEOC on sexual, racial, and national origin harassment suit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the settlement of a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 harassment retaliation lawsuit against Tavern on the Green, the landmark restaurant located in Central Park in New York City. The settlement included an award of $2.2 million and significant remedial relief.

The EEOC sued Tavern on the Green in September 2007 after conducting an administrative investigation and attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. The commission charged that the restaurant engaged in severe and pervasive sexual, racial, and national origin harassment of female, black, and Hispanic employees.

The sexual harassment included graphic comments and demands for various sex acts as well as groping women’s buttocks and breasts. The racial and national origin harassment included epithets toward black and Hispanic employees and ridiculing Hispanics for their accents. According to the EEOC, the restaurant also retaliated against employees for refusing to consent to and/or objecting to the harassment.

As part of the settlement, a claim fund of $2.2 million will be allocated to victims of the harassment and/or retaliation, and the restaurant will establish a telephone hot line that employees may use to raise any discrimination complaints. It also will revise and distribute its discrimination and retaliation policies and provide training on such practices to all employees. EEOC v. Tavern On The Green, 07-cv-8256, D.C.N.Y., June 2, 2008.

OFCCP settles with Vought Aircraft for $1.5 million

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Dallas-based Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc., have entered into a consent decree to settle allegations of hiring discrimination based on race and gender. The settlement includes payments totaling $1.5 million.

OFCCP investigators found that Vought’s hiring process disproportionately eliminated African-American and Asian males as well as all females applying for the assembly trainee/aircraft assembly beginner jobs. The OFCCP concluded that two steps in Vought’s hiring process — an application screening and a test — were primarily responsible for the discrimination.

Under the terms of the consent decree, Vought will pay the 1,045 rejected applicants a total of $1,377,500 in back pay and interest. The company also will pay about $70,000 for applicants interested in participating in a four-week aircraft assembly training program, and from that program, 35 applicants will be hired into assembly trainee/aircraft assembly beginner positions. Additionally, in lieu of retroactive seniority, the 35 new hires will be paid $1,500 each.

Vought, a manufacturer of aircraft parts and auxiliary equipment contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, has discontinued its use of the test, has modified its screening procedures, and will undertake extensive self-monitoring measurements for two years to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with federal law. Additionally, the company will ensure compliance with recordkeeping requirements.