CLEVELAND – Area Temps, a Northeast Ohio temporary agency, agreed to pay $650,000 to resolve a class discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged in its lawsuit (1:07-cv-02964) that the temporary agency violated federal law by considering and assigning (or declining) job applicants by race, sex, Hispanic national origin, and age. The EEOC also alleged Area Temps unlawfully complied with discriminatory requests made by its clients based on race, sex, national origin and age, and unlawfully fired two of its employees in retaliation for their opposition to Area Temps’ discriminatory practices and for one employee’s participation in the EEOC’s investigation.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin both by employers and placement agencies, and protects employees who complain about or oppose such discrimination from retaliation. It also violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination based on age against people 40 years of age or older.
The three-year consent decree settling the suit, in addition to monetary relief, requires the company to post a notice of resolution regarding this lawsuit, visible to employees. The company must also provide a notice-of-resolution letter to all applicants, management and selecting officials and to outside clients on the obligations of the company under federal anti-discrimination laws, as well as Area Temps’ commitment to abide by such laws.
“The EEOC is pleased that Area Temps joined with the agency to negotiate a fair settlement resolving this matter,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. “The equitable relief provided by the consent decree will benefit many temporary or contingent workers in the future.”
In Fiscal Year 2009, the EEOC received 93,277 charges in 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.