State Civil Rights Commission issues several sex discrimination charges in Sept.

INDIANAPOLIS – Multiple employers have been charged with sex discrimination this month in violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law. The charges, each reported to the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), involve cases where female employees were treated less favorably than similarly-situated male employees.

Provided below is a brief overview of the charges issued:

Forest River, Inc. (Elkhart, Ind.)
The charge against Forest River, Inc. stems from a January 22, 2013 Complaint filed with the Commission alleging that Complainant was treated less favorably and ultimately terminated after applying for and receiving FMLA related to her pregnancy. Upon receipt of FMLA on December 28, 2012, the Respondent (Forest River, Inc.) moved Complainant to another department and reduced her pay from $14.00 an hour to $8.00 an hour. She was later terminated as a result of her pregnancy.

Metropolitan Faculty Services Enterprises (Fishers, Ind.)
In the case of Apex Tool Company it was found through the state’s investigation that while Apex claims the Complainant was terminated for missing shifts and arriving late to work on several occasions, there is no evidence to support it. Further, Apex does not publish or distribute employee handbooks and admits similarly situated male employees were granted extended periods of vacation time, missed shifts and arrived late without being terminated.

Apex Tool Company (Columbus, Ind.)
Regarding the case of Metropolitan Faculty Services, the Complainant was a janitorial supervisor who was allegedly told by one of the Respondent’s owners that he wanted a man in her position because he felt a female couldn’t do the job. Shortly after that comment, the owner changed the Complainant’s work schedule which conflicted with her other responsibilities. When the Complainant indicated that she could not work the schedule, the Respondent’s owner told her she was fired.

In order to prevail in these cases, the Complainant must show that: (1) they are a member of a protected class; (2) they suffered an adverse employment action; (3) they were meeting Respondent’s legitimate business expectations; and (4) similarly-situated employees of a different sex were treated more favorably.

A finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights Complaint.  Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Manager, at (317) 232-2651.