Hiring discrimination has been a hot topic over the last few weeks, and it's once again in the news today.
Choctaw Transportation Company, Inc., a marine construction and transportation company located in Dyersburg, Tenn., has been ordered to pay an African-American job applicant $75,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
“Employees should not be subjected to racial discrimination in hiring, as it is a violation of federal law,” said Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s district office in Memphis. “The EEOC will continue to ensure that such barriers to employment are removed.”
According to the federal commission, the company refused to hire a Black job applicant for a deckhand position because of his race, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects against discrimination in hiring. The EEOC charged that Choctaw has for decades segregated its work force and has refused to hire Blacks in deckhand positions.
In addition to the monetary relief, a three-year consent decree requires the company to use its best efforts to fill up to 25 percent of available positions with African-Americans. Choctaw has also been ordered to maintain records of discrimination complaints, provide annual reports to the EEOC, and post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that includes the EEOC’s contact information.
Choctaw, however, isn’t the only company in hot water with the EEOC. Recently, one of the largest cleaning companies, Matrix, L.L.C, was ordered to pay $450,000 to 15 former employees who claim they were fired because of their race or made decisions to hire Blacks; the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a federal complaint with the commission claiming Black officers are not promoted in the NYPD’s intelligence division, and Pepsi Beverages Co. was recently ordered to pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants, a majority of whom were Black.
At the beginning of 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is showing that they mean business.
If you have a discrimination complaint to file, contact the EEOC here.
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(Photo: Birmingham News/Landov)