Nearly four dozen women who were either not hired or placed into cashier positions instead of sales associate jobs at the Home Depot’s Pomona store will share $83,400 in compensation under a gender discrimination settlement announced Thursday.
The settlement involves 46 women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
For years, female job applicants at the home improvement store found themselves funneled into cashier jobs while their male co-workers landed higher- paying sales jobs, according to federal regulators.
However, a Home Depot spokesman said cashier jobs can be effective starting positions and can lead to growth within the Atlanta, Georgia-based company.
“We agreed to the settlement,” Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said, adding that the company is “very proud of our record of hiring cashiers of both sexes.”
Holmes pointed out that some store executives of both sexes started their careers as cashiers.
“It’s a good position in the store — and we’re proud of our track record,” he said.
As a federal contractor, the company is obligated to offer equal opportunities to all job applicants and employees.
“This settlement demonstrates the U.S. Labor Department’s determination to prevent workplace discrimination, especially by federal contractors,” said Patricia Shiu, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
“If you do business with the federal government, the law requires you to hire and promote people according to skills and experience, not gender,” she said.
Investigators who examined personnel records and employment applications, and interviewed rejected female job applicants and managers, found that management at the Pomona store had routinely channeled or placed equally or more qualified females into cashier positions while male hires were put into sales associate positions with higher pay and promotion opportunities, Shiu said.
As part of the settlement, the Home Depot did not admit liability but agreed to hire or promote five women to sales associate positions.
— City News Service