School Meals Provider Will Pay $62,500 to Settle Retaliation Claims and Provide Training to Employees on Retaliation
PHOENIX - A Commerce, Calif.-based company that provides prepared meals to schools has agreed to settle the claims against it in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC's suit charged that Better 4 You Breakfast violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by retaliating against five Phoenix employees who had opposed unlawful sexual harassment and participated in an EEOC investigation of that harassment. While Better 4 You Breakfast had no role in the harassment against these employees, the EEOC charged that the company refused to rehire the five employees because they had engaged in the protected activity.
"Retaliation for participating in protected activity in the workplace cannot be allowed," said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill. "In this case, these employees were not allowed to return to work because they asserted their right to oppose harassment in the workplace. We are pleased that Better 4 You worked cooperatively with us to resolve the claims against them and to evaluate its policies and training on retaliation."
The 24-month consent decree settling the suit provides that Better 4 You Breakfast will pay $62,500 to the five retaliation victims. In addition, the company will provide training to its supervisors and employees to ensure that they know what actions are retaliatory and how to prevent retaliation in the future. The decree also requires Better 4 You Breakfast to post a notice in the workplace explaining what retaliation is and what employees should do if they feel they have been retaliated against.
Elizabeth Cadle, the director of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, said, "The successful resolution of these claims is part of the EEOC's ongoing efforts to enforce federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Retaliation is one of the most common forms of workplace discrimination; nearly 46 percent of charges allege it. The outcome here should encourage all employers to respect the rights of employees who engage in legally protected activity."
The EEOC's Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque).
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.