OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bank of the West, one of the nation's largest banks, will pay $48,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
According to the EEOC, the lawsuit was filed on July 22 and settled just five days later. In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Bank of the West refused to hire an Oklahoma City woman for the position of branch manager of its Quail Creek branch because of her gender.
According to the lawsuit, managers with hiring authority acknowledged that she was the best-qualified candidate for the job, they claimed they denied her the job because she stated she needed two weeks before starting to make child care arrangements. The bank then allegedly hired a male applicant who also needed two weeks before starting to make child care arrangements.
Bank of the West denies that it discriminated against the female applicant.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," said Patrick Holman, trial attorney for the EEOC. "We believe that when Bank of the West fully understood what happened, it took action to correct its unequal treatment, as this quick settlement demonstrates. We are hopeful that with education and closer scrutiny of lower management, discriminatory actions can be prevented, saving its employees and applicants from unlawful treatment and itself significant costs."
The EEOC said in addition to the $48,000 payment, Bank of the West has agreed to take specified actions designed to prevent future discrimination, including the posting of notices to employees, re-dissemination of anti-discrimination policies and providing anti-discrimination training to employees.