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Office of Affirmative Action and Employment Practices

Office of Affirmative Action and Employment Practices

Simula Case, Laws and Legal Decisions - Discrimination Impact

Simula to pay $110,000 to settle EEOC gender, equal pay and retaliation case.

Settlement With Military Contractor Provides Compensation and Training

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix-based international military contractor will pay $110,000 and furnish other relief to settle lawsuit charging a sex and age discrimination and unlawful retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit (Case No. 2:07-CV-01656-PHX-ECV) in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona charged that Simula, Inc. discriminated against temporary employees Margaret Chavez, Laura Box, and Christine Hanson by paying them less than male employees who performed the same job duties and not making them permanent employees. The EEOC also charged that Simula discriminated against Chavez on the basis of her age and ended Box’s temporary employment in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment.

Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit employment discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy or sexual harassment) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation.

In addition to paying $110,000, the consent decree settling the suit requires Simula to provide training and other relief aimed at educating its employees about laws prohibiting sex discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation.

“Employers cannot take advantage of temporary employees by denying them a work environment free of gender and age discrimination and retaliation,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Federal law protects both permanent and temporary employees from discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.”

EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill said, “As more companies choose temporary labor to fill their staffing needs, it is important for both those companies and employment agencies to be aware of their obligations to prevent discrimination and appropriately respond to allegations.”

Chester V. Bailey, District Director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “We will continue to vigorously pursue our mission of fighting employment discrimination on all fronts.”

Simula performs military contracting work such as packing parachutes and assembling body armor.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s website.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release
6-17-09