Construction Company Refused to Hire Female Applicant, Federal Agency Charges
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - BHT Constructions LLC, a construction contracting company based in Davie, Fla., violated federal law when it refused to hire a female applicant as a heavy machinery operator because of her gender, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the female applicant is a heavy machine operator with over 20 years of experience. BHT was seeking candidates for numerous heavy machine operator positions, but when the female applicant sought employment at a Clewiston worksite, she was denied employment and told by a BHT worksite supervisor that they "do not hire women," the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division (EEOC v. BHT Constructions LLC, Case No. 19-cv-62145-WPD-LSS), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay, compensatory, and punitive damages for the discrimination victim, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.
"Employers must base their hiring decisions on the qualifications of applicants, not on outdated and irrational gender-based stereotypes or assumptions," said Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District. "The EEOC remains committed to protecting the rights of women in the American workplace."
Michael Farrell, director of the EEOC's Miami District, said, "Construction is one of Florida's biggest industries, and women in construction positions can be especially vulnerable to sex discrimination. This industry is on notice that such misconduct is unlawful and will not be tolerated."
The EEOC's Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa, and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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.