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L'Oreal Settles Discrimination Case

Oct 5, 2004 | AP

Cosmetics maker L'Oreal USA has settled a discrimination case brought by a 58-year-old woman who said she was denied a promotion and fired because of her age.

Joyce Head, a senior director, charged that she was harassed and denied a promotion to vice president of sales for one of L'Oreal's divisions.

L'Oreal, which sells the brands Lancome, Biotherm and Maybelline, denied discriminating against Head.

A lawyer for the company, M. Brenk Johnson, said Head was dismissed in early 2003 after about 20 years with L'Oreal.

Head claimed she was fired because of her age and because she complained about her treatment, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed a lawsuit on her behalf in federal district court in Dallas.

Head's private attorney negotiated a monetary settlement with the U.S. division of the French cosmetics company. Terms were not disclosed, which Johnson, the company's attorney, said was the preference of both L'Oreal and Head.

The commission said L'Oreal agreed to give Head a "neutral letter of reference" and remove all mention of her firing from her personnel file.

The company also agreed not to retaliate against anyone who helped Head or complained about age discrimination and to conduct a training session for managers and supervisors, the commission said.

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