H&E Equipment Services, Inc., a national construction equipment dealer with a branch in Henderson, Colorado, recently agreed to a $125,000 settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The settlement came after a gender-based complaint was filed by one of the company's former employees. The EEOC filed an employment discrimination lawsuit based on the complaint in a Denver federal court last September.
The complaint originated at the Henderson branch of the company, where a female rental supervisor claimed that she was bypassed for a promotion by that location's branch manager. The employee claimed the discrimination was based solely on her gender, stating that the branch manager told her that "he didn't think women could be managers in the construction industry."
As part of the settlement, H&E Equipment Services will now provide discrimination training to all of the company's Colorado employees, and will also require managers nationwide to attend additional training. The company will also have to conduct a review of its written policies on complaint procedures and discrimination, as well as report to the EEOC regularly regarding compliance with the terms of the settlement.
Our previous posts have discussed the process for filing a discrimination complaint in Colorado. In our state, an employee who alleges workplace discrimination must first file a complaint with either the EEOC or the Colorado Civil Rights Division. This must be done before any civil lawsuit can be pursued. Further, the complaint must be filed within 300 days of the alleged discrimination.
Workplace discrimination is wrong, regardless of whether it is based on gender, national origin, race or religion. Federal and state laws protect employees from these kinds of discrimination, and workers who believe they have been victimized by workplace discrimination should hold their employers accountable.
Source: ABC 7 News, "Construction Equipment Firm Pays $125K Discrimination Settlement," Alan Gathright, June 13, 2012