A proposed class action alleges Barrett Firearms Manufacturing has engaged in gender discrimination, including by “refusing” to hire women as salespeople and firing a female employee who claims to have been wrongfully accused of stealing from the company.
The 17-page lawsuit was filed by a former export/import specialist who alleges that Barrett attempted to deny her the full bonus payment she was due while she was on maternity leave. The plaintiff claims that she complained internally that Barrett’s apparent failure to pay her the full bonus was “gender and pregnancy discrimination, because men working at Barrett Firearms who had been on leave for reasons other than maternity had received their full bonuses in the past.”
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff then filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after the firearms company “did nothing to remedy the discriminatory treatment.” The suit states that the plaintiff withdrew her EEOC charge and signed a release of her prior claims after Barrett offered a settlement payment, which the woman accepted.
The plaintiff alleges that after she filed the EEOC charge, however, Barrett Firearms management began to treat her differently, including by ostracizing her from internal social interactions and reassigning her job duties to other workers, which made the woman “feel as if she was being targeted for termination.”
The case then claims that the plaintiff complained about the “lack of pay equity” at the company in late 2021, and that Barrett did not address the woman’s concerns.
The lawsuit goes on to say that the plaintiff had previously heard two Barrett Firearms management employees discussing using the company’s FedEx account to ship personal items and then repaying Barrett for the costs, thereby benefiting from the discount. According to the complaint, the plaintiff in January 2022 used Barrett’s FedEx account to send a personal package and attempted to pay FedEx directly using her own funds. However, the plaintiff was informed by a FedEx employee that she had to use the company’s shipping account to receive the discount, so “she decided to charge it to the account and repay the company on Monday,” the lawsuit says.
According to the case, the plaintiff asked a supervisor how she could repay the company for using its FedEx account and was told that she needed a manager’s approval before sending any personal packages. Though the plaintiff was told by another employee that she could pay the company back with cash or have the money withheld from her paycheck, that employee “did not say anything” about the plaintiff having violated any policy at Barrett Firearms, the lawsuit relays.
According to the case, the plaintiff’s employment was terminated around February 2, 2022. The woman alleges Barrett Firearms “insisted” on terminating her for violating a company policy, despite the woman’s protest that she had understood that it was permissible for employees to use the company’s FedEx account.
The plaintiff alleges that the reason for her termination was “a pretext for unlawful retaliation.” The lawsuit claims that Barrett Firearms “further retaliated” against the plaintiff by “belatedly and falsely accusing her of theft” during an unemployment appeal hearing in April 2022.
The woman alleges that throughout her employment, she had heard Barrett Firearms sales and management employees state that the company “would never hire a woman as a salesperson.” The lawsuit claims that the company “does not consider applications from women who apply for salesperson roles” and deters applicants pursuant to that alleged policy.
The plaintiff alleges that she was not considered for an open salesperson role at Barrett Firearms “because of her gender.”
The lawsuit looks to represent women whose applications to work for Barrett Firearms as salespeople were rejected at any time since May 9, 2021, and women who were deterred from applying to work as salespeople for Barrett since May 9, 2021 because of its “well-known policy of refusing to hire women as salespeople.”
Alleged in the case are violations of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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