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The Children’s Home Settles EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Nonprofit Refused to Hire Male Employee for a Maternity Program Position Because of His Sex, Federal Agency Charged

The Children's Home, Inc., a Tampa nonprofit child care organization also known as the Children's Home Network, will pay $18,000 and provide training for its human resources and management employees to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency recently announced.

The EEOC's lawsuit charged that The Children's Home violated federal law when it refused to consider a male employee, Luis Vasquez, for a position in its maternity home program based on his sex. The suit further alleged that, Vasquez, after voicing his concerns about the company's refusal to consider him because he is a male, was prevented from applying to any other positions with the organization.

Both male and female employees are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 8:17-cv-02262-EAK-JSS) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree resolving the case, The Children's Home will pay the harmed employee $18,000 in damages. The organization will also have its chief of human resources deliver an annual message to its workforce regarding the importance of equal opportunity, include a statement regarding equal opportunity in all its job advertisements and applications, and report to the EEOC on its hiring practices in its maternity program for the next two years. In addition, an expert on sex discrimination will provide annual training to The Children's Home's human resources and management personnel.

"Outdated stereotypes about the roles of men and women in child care and caregiving should not adversely impact employees' job prospects," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office. "The law is clear-employers cannot discriminate based on gender in hiring or firing employees."

EEOC Tampa Field Director Evangeline Hawthorne added, "Whether a man or woman, employees should not be subjected to discrimination in the workplace based on their sex. The EEOC will continue to vigorously enforce anti-discrimination laws to ensure equal opportunity for all workers."

The Children's Home provides social services to at-risk children and families in a residential setting including, but not limited to, programs for adolescent mothers and children who have been abused or neglected. The company has several locations in Florida; Tampa is its main location.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.