March 30, 2023
Laura L. Rubenstein
On March 16, 2023, a Maryland federal court entered a default judgment against Green JobWorks, a Maryland-based staffing company that provides both skilled and general labor to their construction clients in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. The lawsuit, filed by the EEOC in the summer of 2021 on behalf of 48 females, alleged that Green JobWorks refused to hire female workers for demolition and laborer positions or to assign those workers to such positions because of their sex.
The judge awarded the workers a total of $2,692,265 in monetary relief. Of that amount, $665,566 was for lost wages plus interest. The additional $2,026,698 was for punitive damages for the company’s “reckless indifference to the rights of those workers,” according to the EEOC’s press release dated March 24, 2023. Green JobWorks’ LinkedIn profile states that it “uses a unique, referral-based hiring system, ensuring that we can provide the right employees, on demand, to our clients.”
Let this be a reminder to all employers that hiring decisions should not be based on an assumption of a candidate’s skill set on the basis of their sex/gender or any other protected characteristic. The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act states that protected employment categories include: race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or genetic information. Certain Maryland counties and Baltimore City expand this definition.
For questions about your company’s hiring policies and practices, reach out to any of RKW’s employment attorneys who can guide you through these laws and advise you on related legal issues so you can stay out of the news and ensure fair treatment of all employees.