LEGAL BRIEF: Michigan Company to Pay $500,000 in EEOC Race Bias Suit
That joke seems to fit this update on legal news, considering that the company (described below) would rather hire less qualified Whites, than to bring Black staff into the company to contribute to their success.
Legal Update: A South Lyon, Mich., steel tubing company will pay one half million dollars and implement injunctive relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had charged that Michigan Seamless Tube, after purchasing the assets of its predecessor company, refused to hire a class of African American former employees of the predecessor.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 05-73719 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan), Michigan Seamless began hiring former employees of the predecessor in November 2002. During the company startup, 52 of the former employees were hired -- none of them black. Michigan Seamless continued to hire former employees through 2005, but no African American employees of the previous company were ever hired. Many white employees hired had significantly less experience than the black former employees represented by the EEOC, and in some cases had actually been trained by the same African American employees who were denied hire. The suit also included other black applicants who were denied hire in favor of less qualified white applicants.
Under the consent decree settling the suit, Michigan Seamless will pay $500,000, to be distributed to the class members based on an individualized determination. Michigan Seamless is also required to recruit black applicants by a variety of methods, and will provide training on anti-discrimination laws to all its employees, managers and executive officers.
“This case shows that race discrimination is still a major problem in today’s workplace, more than 40 years after passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act,” said Trina Mengesha, the EEOC attorney who litigated the case. “We trust that management at Michigan Seamless will change its practices and permanently stop discriminating against qualified black applicants.”