Kroger Hit with Gender Discrimination Suit

May 18, 2005 ( - The Kroger supermarket chain was hit with a lawsuit this week from the anti-workplace discrimination agency, alleging that the company would not hire women at its Houston distribution center for physically demanding positions.

A Houston Chronicle news report said the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the suit on behalf of Yolanda Washington and Subrena Tarver who had applied for jobs at Kroger’s warehouse in September 2003. They each had previous experience as “order selectors” and met the other qualifications, such as a high school diploma and a crime-free background, according to the Chronicle.

However, according to the lawsuit, the two women were never hired for the positions, which require lifting and stacking boxes up to 60 pounds, while less qualified men were hired, the newspaper said. They were never even interviewed for the jobs, Rose Adewale-Mendes, EEOC supervisory trial attorney, told the newspaper. She said the agency is also looking for other women to come forward who applied for the jobs.

Until Kroger was notified of the complaint in October 2003, the company didn’t have any women working as order selectors in its Houston warehouse, Adewale-Mendes said. Kroger offered women those jobs only after the complaint was filed with the EEOC, she told the Chronicle.