EEOC sues Kintetsu International

This one from the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission website. Kintetsu International is being sued in the District of Hawaii by EEOC for Title VII discrimination.

Now, I want you to read the caption, and ask yourself what country’s business ethics this sounds like it’s coming from:

“Tour Coordinator Called “Selfish” For Making Others Watch Her Limp, Then Forced to Quit Along With a Co-Worker for Protesting”

Here is more:

In its lawsuit, the EEOC contends that a supervisor constantly disparaged a tour coordinator who suffers from malignant rheumatoid arthritis during the tour coordinator’s employment with the company in 2005 and 2006. The supervisor frequently harassed the tour coordinator, who had difficulty walking as a result of her condition, with offensive remarks such as “If you cannot walk straight, you cannot work at the hotel,” “Because of the way you walk, you create a bad atmosphere,” “No one wants you here,” and “You are selfish for making other people have to watch you limp.” The same supervisor allegedly gave her a less favorable work performance evaluation than those received in the past.

We don’t really know if the tour supervisor is from Japan. But a comment like, “you are selfish for making other people have to watch you limp” doesn’t exactly sound like something out of Americana, does it? It doesn’t sound like Western thinking at all, really.

I like to follow the EEOC website, because they post almost daily updates of the remedial actions the Commission is taking throughout America about employment discrimination. (Remember, too, that “America” includes U.S. companies that are doing business through foreign affiliates overseas, when the charging party is an American citizen.)

The enforcement pattern in recent years has moved away from lawsuits about how many percent of different groups are hired, and into individual instances of discrimination. This is wonderful! The problem before was that a company could just do its minimum-hurdle “diversity” hiring, and then practice discrimination as it pleased against the individual. Now, with the EEOC focusing on individual instances, the employer has to make sure that Title VII is covering all employees. That was the original intent of the law.

Kintetsu didn’t settle with EEO. Probably because the Japanese parent drew a line in the sand or Japan tried to have their sneaky lobbyists in Washington put the kabosh on what EEO was doing, which was: its job.

But if that was tried, it didn’t work.

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