$580,000 Settlement in Race and National Origin Discrimination Suit Against Staffing Company, Training Ordered

Monday, December 8, 2014

Question:  Would discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.
Staffing companies New Koosharem Corporation and Real Time Staffing Corporation will pay $580,000 as part of the settlement of a class race and national origin discrim­ination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC had charged that New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing discriminated against four applicants and a class of African-American and non-Hispanic applicants by failing to place and or refer those applicants for job placement in the company's Memphis facilities.

The EEOC brought the lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race and national origin. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutory conciliation process. The original case, (EEOC v. Koosharem Corporation, Civil Action No. 2:13-CV-02761), was filed on Sept. 30, 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division. The EEOC filed an amended complaint on November 17, 2014, (EEOC v. New Koosharem Corporation and Real Time Staffing Corporation).

Besides requiring the companies to pay $580,000 in damages and back pay to the class members, the three-year consent decree resolving the case:

  • enjoins New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing from discriminating against applicants and temporary workers because of race and national origin in the future;
  • requires the companies to provide four hours of training annually on race, retaliation, and national origin discrimination to all managerial employees in its six facilities in Tennessee and the Northern District of Mississippi;
  • requires the defendants' regional vice president or an officer to appear prior to the training in person or via video to announce the defendants' non-discrimination policy  and the consequences for violating the policy;
  • requires that New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing revise the application process for walk-in applicants;
  • requires the companies' director of internal compliance to conduct an internal audit every six months to determine whether the defendants refer or place applicants in the order that the applicants sign the log sheets and to submit reports to EEOC after the audit;
  • allows the EEOC to monitor and review compliance with the decree; and
  • requires the defendants to post notice of this resolution.

One of the EEOC's six priorities identified in its Strategic Enforcement Plan is eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, and particularly class-based intentional recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic, and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities.

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