U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Company Violated Federal Law by Refusing to Hire African-Americans and Male Cashiers, EEOC Charged
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – 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), the agency announced today.
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.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.