Breakthru Beverage Illinois, LLC (BBI) has been discriminating against its employees, according to the EEOC. The department found reasonable cause to believe that the beverage distributor had been assigning their employees to accounts and territories based on their race or national origin rather than their professional abilities.
This kind of identity-based (rather than skill-based) decision making by a company is discriminatory, and in turn, unlawful.
More Than The Money
Along with the nearly one million dollar settlement, the company will:
- conduct anti-discrimination training for its Illinois sales force;
- put in place systems to further encourage diverse applicants for open positions;
- revise its anti-discrimination policy to expressly reference that it prohibits segregating or making assignments based on race and/or national origin and distribute the revised policy to its Illinois sales force; and
- hire a monitor to track the demographics of employees applying for and receiving offers for specified Illinois sales positions.
At BBI, the next two years will also involve periodic reporting to the EEOC regarding the demographics of its sales team.
It is good to see these very specific things BBI must do in order to change the culture of the company and (hopefully) prevent discriminatory practices like this from happening again.
While the adult beverage distributor claims they did not act in a discriminatory manner, they are willing to cooperate with the EEOC in order to avoid litigation. It is a plus to see when companies are cooperative during the mediation process and in turn, able to avoid litigation.
Mediation Versus Litigation
Wondering what the benefits of mediation versus litigation are? The downsides? Check out our article here.