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November 1, 2014

More news to cheer this week:

Construction contractor Vamco Sheet Metals of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., will pay $215,000 as part of the settlement of a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced Oct. 29. Legal Momentum, a women's rights nonprofit organization (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), joined the EEOC's suit on behalf of four discrimination victims. The lawsuit challenged the treatment of female sheet metal workers on the massive John Jay College of Criminal Justice expansion in Manhattan from 2009 through 2011. According to the lawsuit, female sheet metal workers were fired for pretextual reasons, some after just a few days of work. The suit also alleged that the women were treated unfavorably compared to men, including being assigned menial tasks like fetching coffee and having their breaks monitored. One new mother was denied a clean private place to pump breast milk. "The company now has a policy that expressly entitles nursing employees to an accommodation," Carol Robles-Roman, Legal Momentum's president and CEO, is quoted in the release. "We intend to work with other employers who operate in non-traditional work settings to help them follow Vamco's lead."