U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Agency Charged Staffing Company Fired White Woman for Complaining About Race and Age Bias in Atlanta Office
ATLANTA – Spencer Reed Group, LLC, a Kansas-based staffing company that provides staffing and administrative services to employers, will pay $125,000 to settle a race and age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Spencer Reed Group violated federal law by discriminating against 55-year-old Caucasian employee at its Atlanta office because of her race and age and firing her as retaliation for her complaining about it.
According to the EEOC(s suit, the complainant, a senior functional analyst (SFA) for Spencer Reed since 2003, was treated differently in many ways because of her age and race. She was subjected to adverse employment actions such as unduly harsh discipline, denied training, given the heaviest and most difficult workload and forced to provide work reports on a weekly instead of monthly basis. Further, the EEOC said, a supervisor yelled at and belittled the woman in front of her co-workers.
The woman’s co-workers, all younger African Americans, were not treated in the same manner by their supervisor, the EEOC said, and the supervisor would not speak to her at the same time she addressed the other employees. One of the woman’s co-workers, a lead financial management analyst, said she felt that the treatment indicated “prejudice.” Finally the employee complained about the disparate treatment, but she was fired as retaliation the next day, the EEOC charged.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against people due to race, color, religion, sex or national origin and from retaliation against employees for complaining about it. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who are 40 or older because of age. The EEOC filed suit on August 17, 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division (Case No.: 1:09-CV-2228) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court.
The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and posting of anti-discrimination notices. In the suit and consent decree, the Spencer Reed Group denied any liability or wrongdoing.
“Spencer Reed Group worked diligently with the parties in this case to come to a speedy resolution,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta office. “Going forward, we believe the company is sincerely committed to avoiding these types of problems.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.