EEOC Rundown: Who’s Getting Sued, Who’s Settling

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been hard at work.  Here’s a rundown of some of the latest claims and settlemeneeoc_logots involving the EEOC and its big sister, the Department of Labor (DOL).

Hotel Heartache

The former owner of a Best Western hotel in Ocean City, Maryland hotel settled a claim for discrimination and retaliation brought by the former executive housekeeper for $36,000.

The owner of the Ramada Inn Wytheville, in Wyethville, Virginia, has settled a claim for unpaid back wages brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The hotel owner was alleged to have paid waitstaff the federal tip-credit wage of $2.13 per hour despite the fact that the employees didn’t earn enough tips to yield the minimum wage of $5.85 per hour.  The employees were subject to a half-hour meal-break deduction, regardless of whether they actually took, or were permitted to take, any meal break. Finally, the hotel’s time records did not reflect the number of hours worked by employees each week.  Improperly paid employees will share in a $23,000 settlement.

Fly Me to the DOL

An aircraft-painting company in New Mexico has agreed to pay more than $227,000 in back wages and fringe benefits to resolve a claim by the U.S. Department of Labor.  Dean Baldwin Painting misclassified employees who worked on an Air Force contract.  Workers assigned to work on military aircraft are paid at a different rate than those who perform work on commercial aircraft.  The company began paying back wages, which will be distributed among 255 current and former employees, four months ago.

And the Last Laugh Goes to. . .

Les Schwab Tire Centers of Montana has agreed to pay $185,000 to settle a racial harassment suit brought by the EEOC on behalf of Earle Nevins, a former Les Schwab employee.  Nevins, a member of the Blackfeet Nation claimed that he’d been subjected to a hostile environment by coworkers who called him derogatory names and made insulting jokes about Native Americans.  The EEOC  suit alleged that, when Nevins complained of the harassment, he was told that the coworkers were merely engaging in “horseplay,” and was later fired for his complaints. 

Jin Hua Inc., a restaurant supply company in New York, has agreed to pay 28 employees a total of $110,788 in overtime back wages. in order to resolve a federal lawsuit brought by the Department of Labor.  estigation that disclosed violations of the FLSA’s overtime and record-keeping provisions.