Tire Dealer Charged With Bias Against Women

tire shop discrimination womenWhen a company hires over 1,000 new employees over a period of three years, and none of them are women, there is likely something suspicious. Mavis Discount Tire, which owns Cole Muffler, and has 130 locations across the Northeast, is allegedly guilty of exactly that, and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now suing the company for hiring men over more qualified women.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims the discount tire dealer didn't hire a single female applicant between 2008 and 2010 for 1,300 positions as tire installers, mechanics, assistant managers and similar positions, reports The Buffalo News. Of the 800 employees who work these jobs, only one has been a woman since at least 2008, the lawsuit further claims.

Mavis hired men over female applicants with better qualifications and experience, the lawsuit charges. A full review was impossible, however, because Mavis failed to maintain a file of the applications, which is a violation of federal law.

The issue of bias against female mechanics isn't limited to Mavis. The Impact Fund, a nonprofit civil and human rights watchdog group, recently sent qualified male and female applicants to 20 nationally-known car repair outlets in the Bay Area, and found that the men were preferred 47 percent of the time, and the women 20 percent. At shops with immediate positions to fill, men were favored in 60 percent of incidences, and women in 15 percent of them. In other words, the shops were four times as likely to hire the man.

"What surprised me more than anything else was not so much that men were preferred," Brad Seligman, the executive director of the Impact Fund, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "but by how much they were preferred and just how overt the discrimination was."

In one instance, the employer told a female applicant straight out: "We do not hire women."

The suit against Mavis seeks employment of the female applicants at the jobs they were wrongfully denied, as well the recovery of their past and future wages. Mavis did not return calls for comment.

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