Judge Oks Rent-A-Center Sex Discrimination Settlement

October 7, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - About 5,000 women who were allegedly fired or denied employment by Rent-A-Center Inc. will share in a $47-million settlement of two class-action sex discrimination lawsuits against the nation's largest rent-to-own company.

US District Judge David Herndon of the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois approved the settlement last week, effectively putting an end to the lawsuits filed in 2000, according to a Dow Jones news report.

Rent-A-Center, Plano, Texas, has until December 5 to transfer $47 million to the women who claimed they were fired or forced out after the company was acquired by Renter’s Choice in 1998, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said.See  Settlement Reached in Rent-A-Center Suits   

Rent-A-Center President Mitch Fadel said his company took charges last year totaling $52 million — $16 million in the third quarter and $36 million in the fourth quarter — to cover the costs of the settlement.

Payments will also be made to women who claimed they were denied promotions or were demoted, and to women who made claims of sexual harassment on the job.  .

Rent-A-Center, which operates more than 2,200 stores, will also be required to make sweeping changes in employment policies and offer jobs to more than 1,100 women who had claimed sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.