EEOC Sues the Childrens Home, Inc. For Sex Discrimination and Retaliation

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Male Employee Not Considered for a Maternity Program Position Because of His Sex and Retaliated Against for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges

TAMPA, Fla. - The Children's Home, Inc., a Tampa non-profit children's organization, violated federal law when it refused to consider a male employee for a management position in a maternity home program based on his sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed Friday. Further, after voicing his concerns about not be considered because he is a male, he was excluded from applying for any other positions with the organization, the EEOC said.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Children's Home's upper management and human resources personnel discouraged a male manager, Luis Vasquez, from internally applying to a position in a newly created Adolescent Motherhood Program, which was similar to his then-existing position. The EEOC said that Vasquez was told that management "wasn't sure if they would accept males to work at the new motherhood program," and asked, "… can you imagine males changing pampers, working with babies and with pregnant girls?"

Vasquez sought a new position with the organization because the program where he was employed didn't receive renewed funding. Soon after complaining about the refusal to consider him because of his sex, he was advised that there were no other positions available at the organization for him. Vasquez's less-experienced female subordinate was selected for the newly created position, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. The Children's Home, Inc., Case No. 8:17-cv-02262-EAK-JSS) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division after attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"Just as Title VII protects women in the workplace from the gender-based assumption that they always have to be familial caretakers, it also protects men from the stereotype that they cannot hold positions viewed to have such caretaking functions," said Evangeline Hawthorne, director for the Tampa Field Office.

Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the Miami District Office, added, "Employees must not be prevented from work opportunities based on outdated stereotypes of 'a man's role' in maternity and childcare matters. Employment decisions based on such stereotypes violate federal law and the EEOC will vigorously oppose them."

The Children's Home is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to children-in-need and their families in Central Florida.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

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