BALTIMORE — Mars Super Markets here will pay $275,000 and provide “significant remedial relief” to settle a class-action gender-discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency said.
According to the EEOC, Mars refused to hire part-time deli clerk Gail Brown as an apprentice meat cutter at a Dundalk, Md., store because she is a woman.
Mars, which operates 16 grocery stores in the Baltimore area, had an ongoing pattern of failing to hire women as meat cutters, the EEOC said, and also failed to preserve various personnel and employment records, which also violated federal law.
“Throughout the litigation, and in the settlement documents, Mars consistently denied discriminating against anyone,” Christopher P. D'Anna, chief executive officer of Mars, told SN. “Deciding to settle this lawsuit was not an easy decision. When we are in the country's worst economic crisis in a generation and faced with litigating against the EEOC and the essentially limitless resources of the federal government, Mars had to make a business decision to resolve this case for the good of the company. We remain resolute that we did not discriminate.”
The settlement, pending court approval, mandates that Brown will receive back pay, compensatory damages and attorney's fees of $118,000. The decree also provides back pay to other female applicants for the position of meat cutter that were denied hire because of their gender.