Two recent settlements demonstrate that there are still issues for women in jobs that are traditionally held by men and that the Justice Department is focused on changing this.

On June 18th, a District of Massachusetts judge approved a $736,000 settlement for 30 female candidates who were denied jobs as state prison guards after failing the physical fitness examination.   The federal government had filed suit challenging the test as having a disparate impact on women since 96% of men passed and the pass rate for women was between 55 and 84%.


The Justice Department also announced another settlement on June 22nd with the town of Davie, Florida.  In this case, the Justice Department alleged that the town’s policy of denying pregnant firefighters’ leave as a reasonable accommodation until the employee was in her second trimester was discriminatory.


As we have previously blogged gender claims have been on the rise (see June 4th blog on the "Great Lactation Case").  We have also blogged that the EEOC has been challenging as discriminatory more blanket policies of employers, including testing and screening procedures for applicants.  (see January 9th blog on employers requiring high school diplomas).


Now is just as good a time as any for employers to review their policies to see if they have any similar blanket policies that could get them in trouble.