CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Corning Incorporated is facing a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for alleged sex discrimination at the company’s Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations.

The lawsuit alleges the company failed to promote female process assistants (machine operators) at the two facilities.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, at its Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations, Corning “grooms male process assistants for advancement, provides them with training opportunities, and bends its own eligibility rules to place them in line lead positions instead of similarly or more qualified women.”

The EEOC says the alleged conduct “violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex.”

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Corning Incorporated, Civil Action No. 6:21-cv-06745) in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, after the EEOC says the two parties were unable to reach a pre-litigation settlement through EEOC’s conciliation process. 

The EEOC says they are seeking “compensatory and punitive damages, as well as backpay for the female employees who were passed over for promotional opportunities because of their sex.” 

The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent sex discrimination in the workplace.  The agency’s litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Renay Oliver and Supervisory Trial Attorney Nora Curtin.

“It’s regrettable that such discriminatory barriers continue to prevent qualified women from receiving the promotions they deserve,” said Jeffrey Burstein, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “Employers must provide a fair and level playing field for all employees.”

18 News has reached out to Corning Inc. for comment but has not received any official statement at this time.