Lee's Food Corp., doing business as Food Rite Community Supermarket pays $10,500 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") after initial settlement discussions failed. According to published accounts, Food Rite refused to hire Deborah Newell for a vacant part-time courtesy van driver position because of her gender. An employer may not make a hiring determination based on a persons gender. Both genders are to be treated equally under the law.
In October 2012, Newell saw an online job advertisement for a part-time courtesy driver position at the Food Rite Community Supermarket. Newell met all the job's qualifications, and went to the Food Rite to apply for the position. Once inside the supermarket she spoke to the store manager about her interest in the vacant driver position. The manager told Newell that he would not hire a woman for the courtesy van driver position out of concern that a female driver would be at greater risk of being assaulted on the job than a male driver. The position ended up being filled by a male.
"Denying a qualified applicant a job because of her sex is unjust and unlawful, no matter if the discrimination results from a concern' for women's safety." said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes