U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Steel Fabricator Fired Three Black Employees Because of Their Race, Federal Agency Charged
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - SFI of Tennessee, LLC, a fabricator and supplier of heavy-gauge steel and value-added products, has agreed to pay $210,000 and provide other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. EEOC charged that SFI of Tennessee discharged three black employees on the same day because of their race.
According to EEOC's suit, the three black employees worked in SFI's supply chain department, and neither of them had any performance issues prior to being discharged. EEOC said that SFI replaced the terminated employees with white employees, and that race motivated these actions.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (Case No. 2:14-cv-02740) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.
Besides the monetary relief, the two-year consent decree, agreed upon by the parties and approved by the court, requires SFI of Tennessee to provide training on race discrimination to all of its employees and to also report any complaints about race discrimination by its employees.
"Race should never factor into an employer's decision to terminate a person's employment," said
Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "If it does, it violates the law, and EEOC will seek to rectify such discriminatory acts. In this case, we are pleased that SFI of Tennessee chose to resolve the matter without protracted litigation."
SFI of Tennessee is a Tennessee corporation with warehouse and production facilities in Memphis and about 450 employees. Its principal office is in South Bend, Ind.
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.