The dating service It’s Just Lunch USA, LLC (“It’s Just Lunch”) will pay $900,000 to settle a suit alleging that the company discriminated against men.
The announcement of the settlement comes just 10 days after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed a complaint against the Hallendale Beach-based company in a Florida federal court.
According to the complaint, It’s Just Lunch had a practice of not hiring men for the positions of Inside Sales Representative and Dating Director. The company allegedly told its Human Resources Director, Lynda Twist, that women were better suited for the positions because clients preferred to interact with women.
The complaint further alleged that Ms. Twist expressed her opposition to the policy at a January 2009 meeting with the company’s Chairman and CEO. She was fired two days later, allegedly in retaliation for her opposition.
In addition to the $900,000 settlement, It’s Just Lunch must pay $130,659 to Ms. Twist, and also establish a $769,341 Class Settlement Fund for male job applicants who were allegedly denied consideration under the policy. The EEOC will determine who may qualify as an “Eligible Aggrieved Class Member.”
Employers cannot refuse to hire applicants based on unfounded sex stereotypes,” said Malcolm Medley, director of the EEOC’s Miami District Office in the press release. “Moreover, employees who raise legitimate concerns about their employer’s employment practices must be able to raise those concerns without fear of unlawful retaliation.”
Founded in 1991, It’s Just Lunch specializes in matching single professionals. The company claims to have arranged more than 2 million first dates.