Goodyear to Compensate Women for Hiring Policy
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has agreed to pay out US$925,000 in compensation to women who were denied employment as tyre makers at the company’s factory in Virginia. Details of this payment were made by the US Labor Department on January 16, after an administrative law judge approved a consent decree to resolve a lawsuit filed by approximately 800 women denied jobs at the Danville, Virginia plant in the late 1990s.
The lawsuit filed with the Labor Department last June alleged that between January 1998 and June 1999 Goodyear operated “a hiring process and selection procedures that discriminated against hundreds of female applicants for entry-level positions on the basis of gender.”
As a federal contractor, Goodyear is prohibited from employment discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex and national origin. In a statement released by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, spokesman Charles E. James Sr. said
“This consent decree … puts federal contractors on notice that the Labor Department is serious about eliminating systemic discrimination.”
As part of the decree, Goodyear has agreed to hire up to 60 of the women at the plant, so long as they meet with Goodyear’s newly designed requirements for entry-level positions at the Danville plant.
The company also agreed to provide managers with annual training on equal-employment opportunity and affirmative action. Goodyear will supply the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with documentary evidence of its compliance with the decree on a semi-annual basis for two years.
In a statement released by Goodyear’s Danville facility, human resources manager John Rhodes said “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.” The statement also noted that the dispute had been pending for more than seven years, and the company through its compliance with the decree was seeking to avoid “the cost and distraction of protracted litigation with the federal government.”
A spokeswoman at Goodyear has reported that information regarding the settlement will be sent to the 800 women during the month following the decree. (News source: Akron Beacon Journal)