U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Companies Refused to Hire Black Applicants and Retaliated Against Employees and Former Employees for Opposing the Discrimination, Federal Agency Charged
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A group of real estate brokerage and management companies based in Little Rock and Memphis violated federal law by refusing to hire a class of black applicants because of their race and retaliating against employees and former employees for opposing the discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on December 30.
The EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 4:10-CV-002070-SWW, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, asserted that Crye-Leike, Inc. and Crye-Leike of Arkansas, Inc., doing business as Bankers Asset Management, shunned numerous black applicants for jobs at the companies’ Little Rock location based upon their race.
Further, the EEOC said, the companies retaliated against other employees and former employees, such as demoting and forcing one out of her job and suing others, for opposing or testifying about the race discrimination.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, instatement or reinstatement, and an injunction against future discrimination and retaliation.
“The EEOC is uniquely situated to address race discrimination in hiring,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez. “Recent cases such as our significant settlement with Scrub, Inc. of Chicago, where we alleged that the company failed to recruit and hire black applicants for entry-level janitorial positions, point to the need for continued vigorous enforcement.”
Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi, said, “Combating this type of blatant race discrimination and retaliation is a priority for the EEOC. Employers cannot refuse to hire people based on discriminatory stereotypes or retaliate against employees when they oppose the discrimination.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.