Equality in Employment

Goodyear to pay $925,000 US to 800 women denied jobs
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 | 2:33 PM ET
The Associated Press

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has agreed to pay a total of $925,000 US to hundreds of women who were denied tire-building jobs at its plant in Virginia, the U.S. Labour Department said Tuesday.

They will receive an average payment of about $1,150 US.

The monetary payment is part of a consent decree approved by an administrative law judge to resolve a lawsuit filed by the Labour Department last year on behalf of some 800 women who were denied jobs at the Danville, Va., plant over a year and a half in the late 1990s.

“This consent decree … puts federal contractors on notice that the Labour Department is serious about eliminating systemic discrimination,” Charles James, deputy assistant labour secretary for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said in a statement.

As a federal contractor, the Akron, Ohio-based company is prohibited from employment discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex and national origin.

“While we do not believe that our past hiring practices were discriminatory, this settlement is in the best interest of the company and our plant,” John Rhodes, human resources manager at Danville, said in a statement.

He noted that the dispute had been pending for more than seven years, and said the company wanted to avoid “the cost and distraction of protracted litigation with the federal government.”

The lawsuit filed by the department last June alleged that from January 1998 to June 1999, Goodyear followed “a hiring process and selection procedures that discriminated against hundreds of female applicants for entry-level positions on the basis of gender.”

As part of the decree, Goodyear will hire up to 60 of the women who are still interested in working at the plant, provided they satisfy Goodyear’s newly designed requirements for entry-level positions at the 2,400-worker Danville plant.

The company also agreed to conduct annual training for managers on equal-employment opportunity and affirmative action. Goodyear will document its compliance with the decree in semi-annual reports to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for two years. (CBC)


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