Federal Agency Charged Dating Service With Refusing to Hire Men and Retaliating Against a Manager Who Opposed the Discrimination
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - It's Just Lunch USA, LLC, a Hallandale Beach-based company that provides matchmaking services nationwide, has agreed to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged in its suit (Case No. 0:13-cv-61518-WPD, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida) that It's Just Lunch (IJL) refused to hire men as dating directors and inside sales representatives. The EEOC also alleged that IJL fired Lynda Twist, its human resources director, in retaliation for her opposition to IJL's sex-based hiring practices.
The EEOC filed suit after first investigating the case, and then attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
According to the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, which was approved by the U.S. District Court Friday, IJL will pay approximately $900,000 to settle the lawsuit, including a payment to Twist of $130,369. The remaining settlement funds will be paid into an account that will be distributed to a class of qualified male job applicants who applied for dating director and inside sales representative jobs with IJL from 2007 to the present, but whom IJL did not consider for hire. The agreement also requires IJL to implement a detailed applicant tracking system, provide training to managers, human resources personnel and employees, and provide quarterly hiring reports to EEOC for three years.
"We commend It's Just Lunch for working with the EEOC to resolve this matter, without need for costly litigation," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office. "We are pleased that we have been able to secure relief not only for Ms. Twist, but also for the many qualified applicants who were not considered by IJL for employment simply because they were male."
Malcolm Medley, director of the EEOC's Miami District Office, added, "Employers cannot refuse to hire applicants based on unfounded sex stereotypes. Moreover, employees who raise legitimate concerns about their employer's employment practices must be able to raise those concerns without fear of unlawful retaliation."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.