Automotive Supplier Settles Bias Case Despite Bankruptcy
DETROIT -- Noble Metal Processing, Inc., a Warren, Mich., automotive supplier, has agreed to pay $190,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Case No.2:08-CV-14713), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Noble repeatedly overlooked qualified non-white employees, including a group of black employees and a Bangladeshi employee, for promotions to the maintenance department. In addition, a white employee who opposed this type of race discrimination and complained that managers in the maintenance department were using racial slurs was fired shortly after the company learned of his complaints.
Race discrimination and retaliation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court through its conciliation process. After the EEOC’s lawsuit was filed, Noble, a wholly owned subsidiary of Noble International, filed for bankruptcy and closed the plant where these employees worked. Despite its bankruptcy, Noble made efforts to resolve this case.
“Noble should be commended for reaching a resolution despite its financial difficulties,” said Nedra Campbell, an EEOC attorney in the Commission’s Detroit office. Under the parties’ agreement, seven employees will share in the lump sum settlement amount of $190,000.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including race discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.