Medical Provider Refused to Hire Men and Retaliated Against an Applicant for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Northern Arizona Orthopedics (NAO), a medical provider that specializes in bone, joint and spine care in Flagstaff, Ariz., violated federal law by refusing to hire male applicants because of their gender and retaliated against a male applicant who complained about the sex discrimin­ation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Com­mission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, NAO hired women over more qualified male candidates for at least two positions. The EEOC’s lawsuit also charged that NAO retaliated against a male applicant that opposed the alleged discrimination when it responded to his complaint by telling him not to apply for other positions at NAO.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits gender discrimination and retaliation for complaining about it.

The EEOC filed suit, EEOC vs. Northern Arizona Orthopedics Limited, Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-08259-DWL in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona after first attempt­ing to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensa­tory damages and punitive damages for qualified male applicants as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.

“Unfortunately, some employers still make assumptions about which applicants will ‘fit’ the workplace based on their gender,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “Title VII prohibits all forms of gender discrimination, and employers must remember to make hiring decisions on qualifications – not assumptions based on gender or other irrelevant demographic characteristics.”

Elizabeth Cadle, district director of EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “Employees who oppose discrimination should be honored, not punished, for their courage. The EEOC will continue working to protect those brave employees and applicants that stand up to discrimination.”

The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque).

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.