An Ohio-based retailer that was sued in Alabama for sex discrimination will pay $5 million and provide employment opportunities for women to settle the lawsuit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said.
The federal agency announced the deal Wednesday in a statement regarding American Freight Management Co. The company’s website shows it has more than 300 stores closing in 40 states operating as American Freight Furniture and Mattress .
The commission claimed in a 2019 lawsuit that American Freight had a national pattern of discriminating against women for working in its warehouse-style stores. Managers refused to hire women saying they ‘cannot lift’ or would be a ‘distraction’ to men, according to a statement, or that women don’t sell furniture as well as furniture. men.
The money will be used to compensate women who were wrongfully refused work between 2013 and last year, according to court documents.
The company, based in Delaware, Ohio, was also prohibited from discriminating against any job applicant and from retaliating, the agency said. It must recruit women and offer sales and warehouse jobs to qualified candidates who have been denied positions before.
The company did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Thursday.