As the clock ticks down on the Bush administration’s Reign of Error, government agencies are under pressure to put points on the board before the big buzzer sounds. It seems the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has devised a brilliant ploy for racking up last minute points: Win huge, uncollectable judgements against extinct companies on behalf of imaginary employees.
In case you’re interested in seeing your hard-earned tax dollars at work, but don’t have time to read the latest EEOC press release (“LA WEIGHT LOSS SETTLES NATIONWIDE SEX DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT WITH EEOC”), here’s a summary:
- The EEOC has won $20 million and other “significant relief” on behalf of workers who were never hired by a company that has “ceased operations” and whose name is different, anyway.
- Thanks to this landmark victory by the EEOC, the male employees who were never hired will be entitled to $16 million in back pay for work they never performed, and will now be offered positions in the company that no longer exists.
- The no-nonsense EEOC requires that from now on the company that no longer exists must apply “numerical benchmarks” to ensure that the number of men and women who are not-hired and not-promoted to the nonexistent positions within its extinct departments is fair and equitable.
- To ensure that this nonexistent company does not discriminate against future nonexistent employees, the EEOC is requiring it to “to conduct quarterly reviews to assess attainment of its hiring goals” and, at the EEOC’s option, “to employ an outside expert to examine the hiring process to assist in achieving any unmet hiring goals.”
Congratulations to Creditor 100,001!
The EEOC has declared victory against Pure Weight Loss, which ceased operation of its 400 weight loss centers and closed its Horsham, PA headquarters in January, 2008. The closing of Pure Weight Loss (formerly LA Weight Loss) left thousands of customers cheated out of prepaid services and left employees nationwide jobless. With more than 100,000 creditors and liabilities at $10 million to $50 million, Pure Weight Loss filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter, the Attorney General of PA sued for fraud and moved to seize both corporate and personal assets of the company and its founder, Vahan Karian.
According to the EEOC, Pure Weight Loss discriminated against male applicants, having denied them the same opportunity to receive pre-Christmas pink slips and bounced paychecks like their female cohorts. In its battle against employment injustice, the EEOC is not fazed by a small obstacle such as the non-existence of the employer.
A Fictional Victory for Fictional Times? Or a Nail in the LAWL Coffin?
So, is the EEOC declaring a fictional victory for these fictional times, or is their accomplishment, in actuality, much greater than that? Did the EEOC lawsuit actually prompt the closure of Pure Weight Loss outlets earlier this year? Did they put the final nail in a coffin perhaps worth closing for good?
The EEOC originally sued L.A. Weight Loss Centers, Inc. (LAWL) in February 2002 under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, alleging that the company “engaged in a pattern or practice of disparate treatment against men in its recruiting, hiring, and assignment of employees.” On September 6, 2007, an EEOC press release announced “A federal court has ruled that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may proceed to trial with its class sex discrimination lawsuit against L.A. Weight Loss Centers, Inc. (LAWL) on behalf of qualified male applicants nationwide.”
The judge’s decisive rejection of LAWL’s motions to dismiss the case indicated that the EEOC case, which included “discriminatory admissions by various high-level LAWL officials,” was strong.
Three months later, Pure Weight Loss announced it was closing all 400 centers nationwide and laying off all employees, male and female.
And that, dear readers, is how the EEOC helped Pure Weight Loss and its founder, Vahan Karian, provide equal opportunity to all, male and female.
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