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EEOC Lawsuit Says Norfolk Southern Discriminated Against Female Worker

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing Norfolk Southern Railway of sex discrimination in a lawsuit filed recently in Maryland.

The lawsuit says Norfolk Southern supervisors deprived a female employee of an opportunity for the training she would need to be promoted to a yardmaster.

Norfolk Southern supervisors removed the employee, Kathryn Class, from a yardmaster training program and replaced her with a less qualified male employee, the EEOC’s lawsuit says.

However, Norfolk Southern says she was removed from the program because of its anti-nepotism policy. The policy forbids employees from being supervised or supervising their relatives.

The EEOC says the policy hides the sex discrimination that was the real reason Norfolk Southern removed Class from the training program. As an example, the EEOC says in its lawsuit that Norfolk Southern has employed male workers who supervised or were supervised by relatives.

The EEOC accuses Norfolk Southern of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in training and promotions based on sex. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, including a change in Norfolk Southern’s policies, procedures and training to prevent workplace discrimination. The EEOC also seeks compensation for Class based on claims of her monetary losses, emotional pain and humiliation.

“Title VII protects women as they attempt to move into traditionally male-dominated occupations,” EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence said in a statement.

The lawsuit is EEOC v. Norfolk Southern, Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-02566-RDB, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

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