African-American Employee Terminated Because of His Race, Federal Agency Charged
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Schindler Elevator Corporation, headquartered in Morristown, N.J. will pay $35,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Schindler is one of the leading global manufacturers, installers, and servicers of elevators, escalators and moving walkways.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Schindler discriminated against African-American elevator mechanic Ronnie White when it selected him for layoff from a larger group of employees working at a company facility in Charlotte. The company selected White, who was employed by the company for over 29 years, for termination for allegedly having weaker technical and customer service skills than his co-workers, all of whom were Caucasian. Schindler did not have a formal layoff procedure in place, and instead allowed the process to be determined solely by a field superintendent. The field superintendent selected White for termination from a group of three employees in spite of the fact that White had higher scores in all of the considered categories than one of the white employees retained, and higher scores in all categories except one than the other Caucasian retained.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Schindler Elevator Corporation, Civil Action No. 3:12-CV-00639-FDW-DCK) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to $35,000 in compensation, the two-year consent decree resolving the case includes injunctive relief enjoining Schindler from engaging in future racial discrimination. The decree also requires the company to conduct anti-discrimination training at its Charlotte facility; post a notice about the settlement there; redistribute its policy prohibiting racial discrimination; and report certain complaints of discrimination to the EEOC for monitoring.
"We are pleased that Schindler settled this case, and that the company will provide training to employees on federal anti-discrimination laws," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "Racial discrimination remains a problem in today's workplaces and a major concern to our agency. The EEOC will continue to fight for the rights of employees affected by such illegal employment practices."
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.