Corning Incorporated will pay $120,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Corning violated federal law by failing to promote female “process assistants” (machine operators) at its Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations.
The EEOC alleged that, at its Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations, Corning groomed male process assistants for advancement, provided them with greater training opportunities, and bent its own eligibility rules to place them in line lead positions instead of similarly or more qualified women.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Corning Incorporated, Civil Action No. 6:21-cv-06745) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in December 2021 after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case was litigated by EEOC Trial Attorney Renay Oliver and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.
In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit requires Corning to provide enhanced anti-discrimination training, with a focus on hiring; revise its equal employment opportunity policies; modify its line lead hiring processes; and receive and investigate complaints of discrimination and retaliation and report the same to the EEOC. The EEOC will monitor Corning’s compliance with these obligations for the next three years.
“The EEOC appreciates Corning’s willingness to make critical changes to its line lead hiring process, changes that we believe will lead to the advancement of qualified employees regardless of their sex,” said EEOC’s Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the New York District Office.
EEOC New York Acting District Director Timothy Riera added, “The EEOC takes seriously its responsibility to enforce federal law. We encourage employers to be proactive in ensuring that decisions on promotions and other workplace opportunities, such as training, are made without regard to gender.”