Temporary Staffing Agency to Pay $435,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A temporary staffing agency will pay $435,000 to settle a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that claimed the company illegally granted placement preferences to Hispanic Temps over African American Temps, the EEOC has announced.

According to the press release, the EEOC charged that the staffing agency – Resource Employment Solutions, LLC, headquartered in Orlando, Florida – violated federal law by failing to place a class of African American workers into temporary shipping positions at a FedEx SmartPost location in Southaven, Mississippi.

Instead, the EEOC – which enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – claimed the staffing agency granted placement preferences to Hispanic workers and also retaliated against an African American employee who complained of the discrimination by refusing to place her and denying her a promotion.

The alleged conduct by the staffing agency violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (3:14-cv-00217-MPM-SAA) against the staffing agency in September of 2014 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The four-year consent decree settling the suit provides that the staffing agency – which has denied any wrongdoing – will pay $435,000 to a class of former African American temporary workers and prohibits further discrimination. The decree includes additional provisions for anti-discrimination training, reporting, and postings.

“EEOC will continue to scrutinize the placement practices of temp agencies to ensure that irrelevant factors such as race and national origin play no role in staffing decisions,” C. Emanuel Smith, EEOC Birmingham Regional Attorney, stated in a press release available at www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/8-29-16a.cfm.

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