Straub settles bias lawsuit for $450,000
Nine women had said they were passed over for jobs because of their age and gender
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Age and sex discrimination in hiring will cost Straub Clinic and Hospital $450,000 under a settlement announced yesterday with the federal government.
The case involves nine women who applied for jobs as security guards but were not hired.
Five of the rejected female applicants had previously worked at Straub as security officers when the hospital used a private company for security.
On behalf of the applicants, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Straub, alleging that the applicants were rejected because they are women. Three also alleged they were rejected because they are over 40 years old.
Straub, an affiliate of Hawaii Pacific Health, will revise its hiring policies under the consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
"We hope this case sends a strong message to employers in Hawaii that hiring discrimination will not be tolerated," said Olophius Perry, director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office.
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Straub Clinic & Hospital and its parent company, Hawaii Pacific Health, will pay $450,000 to nine women under a settlement of a federal lawsuit that alleged they weren't hired for security jobs because of their ages and gender.
"It came as a shock to me that I wasn't hired as a security officer," Helen Josypenko, one of the women, said in a news release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
She said she thought she had "an excellent chance" of being hired because she had previously worked at Straub as a security supervisor for a private contractor.
The commission filed the lawsuit in 2006, charging Straub discriminated against applicants for security positions because they were women and over 40 years old.
Seven women alleged they weren't hired because of their sex; three also said they were rejected because of their ages. Five of the women applicants had worked at Straub as security officers before June 2004, back when Straub contracted out the security functions.
When Straub decided to take over its own security operations, nine men were hired -- no women or older applicants, EEOC said.
Straub and Hawaii Pacific Health agreed to the payment for the seven women identified as being qualified applicants who weren't hired, as well as two qualified applicants not identified previously, according to the EEOC statement.
Straub also agreed to revise its hiring policies, perform recruitment activities and provide training for managers and some employees on its policy and procedures against sexual harassment and retaliation.
"We are very pleased with the outcome of the case and grateful to the EEOC for pursuing this case and bringing to light the issue of sex and age discrimination in hiring," Josypenko said.
Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which includes Hawaii, said, "Straub should be commended for its commitment to prevent sex and age discrimination in hiring by agreeing to the comprehensive injunctive relief in this case. We also commend the claimants for coming forward," she added.
Olophius Perry, director of the Los Angeles District Office, said, "We hope this case sends a strong message to employers in Hawaii that hiring discrimination will not be tolerated.
"Women who apply for traditionally male jobs like security guards must be given the same consideration as male candidates during the hiring process."
Employment decisions should be based on ability and merit, not age or gender, he said, "particularly with more women and older workers participating in today's labor force."
The lawsuit and consent degree were filed here in the U.S. District Court.