Race discrimination and retaliation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And, as a recent case demonstrates, race discrimination claims can be costly for employers. The case involves Bankers Asset Management, Inc., a real estate company in Little Rock, that has agreed to $600,000 to former employees and a class of applicants to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC). According to the EEOC, the company allegedly excluded black applicants for jobs based upon their race.
The EEOC also alleged that the company then retaliated against other employees and former employees for opposing or testifying about the race discrimination, by demoting employees, by forcing one of the employees out of her job, and by suing others in state court. In addition to the settlement amount, the company must: (1) provide mandatory annual three-hour training on race discrimination and retaliation to all of its employees; (2) have its president or another officer appear at the training to inform staff of the company’s non-discrimination policy; that the company will not tolerate such discrimination; and the consequences for discriminating in the workplace; (3) maintain records of complaints of race and retaliation discrimination; (4) provide annual reports to the EEOC regarding such complaints; (5) issue a memo to one of the hiring officials explaining that the company does not discriminate on the basis of race and retaliation; and (5) post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC’s contact information.
EEOC General Counsel David Lopez commented on the settlement stating that “Excluding qualified individuals from job opportunities because of their race or in retaliation for exercising protected rights are fundamental violations of the laws we enforce…As this case demonstrates, the EEOC is prepared to vigorously pursue such cases and resolutions that help ensure that workplaces will be free from discrimination. Recent cases we have filed alleging hiring discrimination, such as our suit against Bass Pro, demonstrate this continued commitment.” Read More.