We posted in October 2015 about the EEOC filing suit against Coca-Cola Bottling of Mobile, asserting sex discrimination in violation of Title VII’s record retention provisions. The complaint alleged that in June 2010 Martina Owes applied for two vacant warehouse positions but was not selected. She complained in her August 2010 EEOC charge that the Company hired less qualified male applicants instead. During its investigation, the EEOC requested the Company’s employment applications for potential and actual hires dating back to February 2010. The EEOC’s complaint alleged that the company could not produce these applications and thus violated Title VII’s record retention provisions. We revisited the recordkeeping requirements set forth by the various employment laws here.
The EEOC recently announced that it has settled the lawsuit with Coca-Cola Bottling of Mobile, who will pay Ms. Owes $35,000 as part of a consent decree. The employer additionally must comply with the following directives:
- conduct annual training of its Mobile employees on discrimination and retaliation for the next three years;
- develop new or revised anti-discrimination policies and a revised hiring process; and
- designate a director-level employee to coordinate its compliance with anti-discrimination laws and compliance with the consent decree.
As we cautioned in our prior post, employers should take inventory of their recordkeeping on employees—current, former, and prospective. These practices are best implemented on the front end before a disgruntled applicant involves the EEOC (and before the company garners unanticipated litigation expenses and unwanted media attention).