Pine Valley Golf Club, an elite club in Camden County, New Jersey, has settled a gender-based discrimination complaint filed last year by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. The club has agreed to pay $100,000 to the Division on Civil Rights and endow two new scholarships worth a combined $100,000 to support women’s participation in golf.
The April complaint alleged that the male-dominated club violated a state law against discrimination by banning women from becoming members, keeping women from using club facilities, and preventing women from owning or leasing housing on its land unless they co-owned the property with a man. The lawsuit asserted that the club recruited employees based on referrals from its male workforce, resulting in a male-dominated staff. Women comprised less than four percent of the club’s employees, who mainly worked in positions without interaction with the club’s members. The complaint also alleged that the club had unlawful policies that barred men from wearing earrings and kept employees from disclosing their wages.
The settlement provides that Pine Valley Golf Club must end discriminatory hiring, housing, and membership practices and educate its employees about New Jersey anti-discrimination law requirements. The club must now publicly post job openings that are equally accessible to individuals of all genders and also advertise at least 75 percent of those openings in at least two significant job postings online. The “word-of-mouth” recruitment style previously used by Pine Valley Golf Club can no longer be utilized as its primary method for hiring new employees. The settlement further requires the club to submit annual reports detailing changes in employment and housing.
New Jersey law prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodation based on gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, and other characteristics. The New Jersey Attorney General expressed that the Division on Civil Rights continues its mission to end the abhorrent legacies of exclusion and misogyny, will not tolerate gender-based discrimination, and will hold parties who violate state laws accountable.
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