Piggly Wiggly Stores in Tennessee Settle Race and Sex Discrimination Suit for $40,000, Training Ordered

Monday, February 27, 2012

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The owners of Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in  Hartsville and Lafayette, Tenn., will pay $40,000 to settle a race and gender  discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC).

In its lawsuit, the EEOC asserted  that the Piggly Wiggly locations owned by MWR Enterprises Inc. II violated  federal law by maintaining policies and practices that intentionally failed to  hire African-Americans because of their race for positions at the company’s  Piggly Wiggly store in Hartsville and Lafayette. The EEOC further charged that the company  maintained a segregated work force and an established practice of not hiring  males for cashier positions at the same locations.

Using  race or gender as a basis for hiring decisions or job assignments violates  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit on Sept. 28, 2010 (Civil Action No. 3:10-cv-00901)  in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville  Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation voluntary settlement  through its conciliation process.

“The law is clear – employers may  not refuse to hire applicants based on their race or gender,” said Faye  Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “The EEOC will continue to ensure that such  barriers to employment are removed.”

In addition  to monetary relief, the four-year consent decree entered by the Court requires  Defendant MWR Enterprises Inc., II, to establish a written policy which  provides that all job assignments will be made without consideration to gender;  establish guidelines and procedures for processing employment applications;  provide Title VII training on race and gender discrimination to its managers;  meet recordkeeping and reporting requirements; and post a notice about the  lawsuit and settlement at its store locations.

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