Companies Failed to Refer Applicants Based on Their Race/National Origin, Federal Agency Charged
MEMPHIS – Staffing companies New Koosharem Corporation and Real Time Staffing Corporation will pay $580,000 as part of the settlement of a class race and national origin discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC had charged that New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing discriminated against four applicants and a class of African-American and non-Hispanic applicants by failing to place and or refer those applicants for job placement in the company’s Memphis facilities.
The EEOC brought the lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race and national origin. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutory conciliation process. The original case, (EEOC v. Koosharem Corporation, Civil Action No. 2:13-CV-02761), was filed on Sept. 30, 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division. The EEOC filed an amended complaint on November 17, 2014, (EEOC v. New Koosharem Corporation and Real Time Staffing Corporation).
Besides requiring the companies to pay $580,000 in damages and back pay to the class members, the three-year consent decree resolving the case:
•enjoins New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing from discriminating against applicants and temporary workers because of race and national origin in the future;
•requires the companies to provide four hours of training annually on race, retaliation, and national origin discrimination to all managerial employees in its six facilities in Tennessee and the Northern District of Mississippi;
•requires the defendants’ regional vice president or an officer to appear prior to the training in person or via video to announce the defendants’ non-discrimination policy and the consequences for violating the policy;
•requires that New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing revise the application process for walk-in applicants;
•requires the companies’ director of internal compliance to conduct an internal audit every six months to determine whether the defendants refer or place applicants in the order that the applicants sign the log sheets and to submit reports to EEOC after the audit;
•allows the EEOC to monitor and review compliance with the decree; and
•requires the defendants to post notice of this resolution.
“The Commission remains committed to enforcing the laws against race and national origin discrimination in the recruitment and hiring process,” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. “Ensuring that the job market is open for all applicants, regardless of their race and national origin, is a priority for the EEOC.”
Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, added, “We are pleased that New Koosharem and Real Time Staffing chose not to engage in protracted litigation. Instead, they focused on making significant changes in the workplace for walk-in applicants and agreed to specific measures such as training, reporting, and monitoring to ensure that all applicants, irrespective of race and national origin, will be treated equally during the hiring process.”
One of the EEOC’s six priorities identified in its Strategic Enforcement Plan is eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, and particularly class-based intentional recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic, and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities.
The EEOC’s Memphis District Office has jurisdiction over Tennessee, Arkansas, and the Northern District of Mississippi.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.