TAMPA, Fla. (Legal Newsline) —Nestlé Waters North America, the largest bottled water company in the world, agreed to pay $300,000 over allegations of sex discrimination against a female employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said.
"Women in the workplace deserve to advance as far as their talents and abilities take them without having the artificial barrier of sex stereotypes forced upon them," said EEOC Tampa Field Director Evangeline Hawthorne in a March 13 statement.
EEOC claimed that Nestlé failed to select Dawn Bowers-Ferrara, a 20-year veteran finance and budgeting manager with the company, for a newly created Florida Zone business manager position because of her gender. The company allegedly selected an under-qualified male employee and later terminated Bowers-Ferrara because of what it called a “consolidation.” The company had 14 managers and zone manager supervisors in the state of Florida, and Bowers-Ferrara was the only female. Yet, she was allegedly the only one to lose a job because of a “consolidation.”
"Employment decisions should be based on true qualifications, not stereotypical ideas of a candidate's qualifications,” said EEOC Miami District Office Regional Attorney Robert Weisberg. “EEOC hopes that this resolution will result in Nestlé examining its subjective internal promotion decision-making process to ensure that it does not have an adverse impact on women seeking advancement into management positions."