MOBILE, Ala. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Mobile, a soft drink manufacturer, bottler and distributor, will pay $35,000 and furnish other relief after allegations of sex discrimination.

The company, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, allegedly refused to hire female applicant Martina Owes for one of two vacant warehouse positions and instead hired less qualified men. This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Employers are required to provide women with equal employment opportunities, and that includes jobs that traditionally have been dominated by men,” said Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of EEOC's Birmingham district office, which has jurisdiction over Alabama and portions of Mississippi and Florida. “We appreciate Coca-Cola Bottling's desire to cooperate with EEOC early in the litigation process to resolve this matter.”

In addition to the monetary relief, the company will need to conduct annual training of its employees on discrimination and retaliation for the next three years.

“EEOC will continue to litigate, when necessary, in cases involving arbitrary and unfair barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace based on sex,” said EEOC Birmingham regional attorney C. Emanuel Smith. “The law requires that female applicants be judged on their qualifications and not passed over because of their gender.”

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