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Men Can Be Subject To Gender Discrimination Too

We hear a lot about the glass ceiling for women, as well as discrimination in hiring them for executive positions. But men can also be subject to gender discrimination.

Last week Puerto Rico-based makeup and jewelry wholesaler Ventura Corp. agreed to a settlement of $354,250 in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against men by hiring only women for managerial positions.

The EEOC's suit, filed in July 2011, alleged that Ventura had a practice of refusing to hire men for zone manager and support managers positions. The suit further asserted that Ventura promoted one worker, Erick Zayas, to zone manager post after he complained about this discriminatory practices, only to set him up for failure and termination in retaliation for his opposition to the company's sex-based hiring practices.

Under the terms of the deal between the parties, $150,000 of the $354,250 that Ventura is selling out the settle the lawsuit will go to Zayas.

The remaining settlement funds will be distributed to a class of qualified male job applicants who applied for zone or support manager jobs with Ventura from 2004 to the present, but whom the company did not consider for hire.

The agreement also calls on Ventura to implement a detailed applicant tracking system, actively promote supervisory accountability for discrimination prevention, provide anti-discrimination training to all company employees as well as specific anti-discrimination training for workers involved in the hiring process and provide semiannual hiring reports to the EEOC for three years.

The takeaway? Federal law prohibits gender discrimination against both men and women.According to Malcolm Medley, director of the EEOC's Miami District Office, "There is no protection in the law for reliance on outdated sex stereotypes. When they appear in the workplace, employees must be able to raise legitimate concerns of discrimination without fear of retaliation."

If you feel you have been the victim of gender discrimination, whether you are male or female, be sure to call the attorneys at Schwartz and Perry LLP.

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