Vehicle Glass Repair and Replacement Business Refused to Hire Qualified Female Applicant, Federal Agency Charged

AUSTIN, Texas – Ohio-based Safelite AutoGlass, a vehicle glass repair and replacement business, agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a sex-based discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a woman applied for an auto glass technician trainee position at a Safelite AutoGlass location in Austin, Texas. During the interview, the applicant informed the store manager she had two years of experience as a repair technician, which required her to lift and move heavy furniture. Despite this information, the store manager expressed concern about the female applicant’s ability to lift heavy weight.

The store manager suggested a lower-paying position would be a better fit because it involved lifting less weight. The applicant did not receive a written job offer or hear from Safelite after the interview. Safelite hired two male technician trainees, who were not better qualified than the female applicant, within one week of her job interview.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. Safelite Fulfillment, Inc. d/b/a Safelite AutoGlass, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-00887), in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit prohibits sex-based discrimination at Safelite’s facilities in Austin, Texas. Safelite is prohibited from denying employment opportunities to women or engaging in any employment practice that discriminates against employees and applicants for employment due to their sex.  It also requires Safelite to reissue its written equal employment opportunity policies to employees and to provide mandatory training on sex discrimination to all supervisory and/or management employees of its stores in Austin. The EEOC will monitor Safelite’s compliance with these obligations while the decree is in effect.

“The EEOC is committed to eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring to ensure employment decisions are made based on qualifications and abilities rather than stereotypes about gender,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Esha Rajendran.

“Employers can benefit by ensuring their hiring processes give women the opportunity to apply and fairly compete for positions that may have historically been thought of as ‘a man’s job,’ said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District. “Premature assumptions made at the front door can unfortunately limit the overall pool of talent available when staffing up.”

The San Antonio Field Office is part of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, which is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, and the conduct of agency litiga­tion in Texas and parts of New Mexico.