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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
5-3-11

Eclipse Advantage To Pay $60,000 To Settle EEOC Racial Harassment And Retaliation Suit

Black Employee Subjected to Racial Slurs, Demotion and Subsequent Termination, Federal Agency Charged

CLEVELAND -- Eclipse Advantage, Inc., a transportation, logistics and distribution management company, will pay $60,000 to settle a racial harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that the company violated federal law by subjecting Rodney Williams, an African-American employee, to racial discrimination and retaliation at its Aldi Food Service warehouse in Hinckley, Ohio.

Racial discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit, No. 1:10-cv-02001, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.

In addition to the monetary relief for the discrimination victim, the two-year consent decree settling the suit provides for training of all management staff on employee rights and employer obligations under Title VII with a special emphasis on harassment and racial discrimination; promoting supervisor accountability with regard to racial discrimination, and the posting of notice that will inform employees about the lawsuit and provide the EEOC’s contact information.

“ The settlement not only provides monetary compensation for the discrimination victim, it also provides significant injunctive relief to prevent and eliminate further harassment and retaliation,” said EEOC Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence, whose district includes parts of Ohio.

“The implementation of training and the posting of notice, which are critical to the settlement, will help Eclipse Advantage to foster a fair work environment in the future.”

According to company information, Orlando, Fla.-based Eclipse Advantage provides distribution services and IT solutions at approximately 45 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada.

In fiscal year 2010, the EEOC received 33,890 charges alleging race-based discrimination, accounting for 36 percent of the agency's private sector caseload.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.