U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Temporary Staffing Agency Preferred to Place Hispanic Workers Instead of African American Employees and Retaliated Against Person Who Complained of Discrimination
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Paramount Staffing, Inc., a temporary staffing agency, headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., will pay $ 585,000 to resolve a race and national origin lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged in its suit against Paramount Staffing, Inc. (Civil Action No. 2:06-cv-02624-JPM-cgc filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee) that Paramount Staffing failed to place a former employee and a class of African Americans into warehouse positions because of their race and their national origin, American, when it took over operations from a predecessor company. Instead, it preferred placing Hispanic workers. The EEOC complaint included an allegation that a former employee was terminated from the warehouse job in retaliation for complaining about the alleged discrimination.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race discrimination and retaliation against people who complain of discrimination.
The two year consent decree resolving the suit, signed by U.S. District Chief Judge Jon Phipps McCalla, enjoins Paramount Staffing from: failing to hire African American applicants on the basis of race or national origin, American; discriminating against African American employees on the basis of race or national origin, American; and retaliating against any employee or applicant for employment. In addition, Paramount Staffing agreed to create and publish a written hiring and placement policy prohibiting discrimination, to post such policy at its Memphis facilities, and to provide race and national origin discrimination awareness training for all recruiters, and onsite personnel employed by Paramount. Prior to the training, Paramount’s Regional Vice President shall announce to each management employee about the resolution of this lawsuit, including that Paramount has a strong and clear commitment to a workplace free of race and national origin discrimination and that such discrimination is expressly prohibited and not tolerated. Paramount also agreed that if it advertises, it will devote a portion of its advertising budget to placing ads in diverse media outlets.
Faye A. Williams, regional attorney in Memphis, in charge of the litigation program in Tennessee, Arkansas and 17 counties in Northern Mississippi, said, “we commend the former employee who had the courage to step forward and file a charge of discrimination under Title VII. Her action allowed the Commission to challenge the employment practice, preferring one group of employees over another based on race or national origin. Part of the Commission’s mission is to aid in the establishment of fairness in the hiring process and to eradicate patterns of discrimination in the workplace. We believe that we accomplished that mission with this resolution.”
Supervisory Trial Attorney Deidre Smith, who led the litigation team, added, “this lawsuit should place employers on notice who are operating such practices in the workplace, that the Commission is serious about its commitment to challenge employment practices that violate Title VII.”
Paramount Staffing places workers on a permanent, temp to perm, or temporary basis for a wide variety of businesses. It has 12 offices across the United States including Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.