EEOC Reports $ 3.25 Million Settlement; two more industry suppliers settle lawsuits, agency also files lawsuits against three more


05 October 2021

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a $ 3.25 million settlement with Aerotek on Friday, but the company denies the allegations. In separate and independent announcements, the EEOC recently reported that it had struck deals with two other recruiting firms and sued two more. Meanwhile, the Justice Department announced a settlement in a bias case involving another recruiting firm.

Settlement of allegations of work attribution in client companies. Aerotek has agreed to pay $ 3.25 million to resolve allegations it violated federal anti-discrimination laws in awarding work to client companies, the EEOC reported. He claimed that Aerotek did not recruit and refused assignments to workers based on age (over 40), gender and race. Aerotek has denied engaging in such practices.

“Aerotek has been and continues to be committed to being an industry leader when it comes to EEO issues,” said Aerotek vice president and general counsel Dana Baughns. “Aerotek has been proactive in creating and putting in place concrete measures to prevent discrimination before investigations are completed. Aerotek is pleased to partner with the EEOC and work together to achieve our common goal of non-discriminatory hiring and placement.

The incidents reported by the EEOC allegedly took place between October 1, 2012 and March 14, 2014 and allegedly involved a class of Illinois seniors who were working on contract. These workers will receive half of the $ 3.25 million while the other half will go to organizations that help underserved communities gain jobs and skills.

Alleged incidents in this case were uncovered during investigations over several years, said Julianne Bowman, district director of EEOC Chicago.

“Compliance with discriminatory client placement requests is a pervasive problem in the recruiting industry, which the EEOC and the Chicago District in particular have been trying to combat for some time,” Bowman said. “This agreement with a national player shows how recruiting companies that have a serious commitment to EEO can take positive steps to prevent this from happening.”

Bowman continued, “Other recruiting agencies should take this into account, and companies need to know that they cannot pass discriminatory hiring decisions through to recruiting agencies.”

Settlement Concerning Allegations Involving a Pregnant Plaintiff. Labor Source LLC, which operates as Wise Staffing, will pay $ 40,000 and provide other remedies to settle a lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The lawsuit had claimed that the Tupelo, Mississippi-based company had not hired a qualified pregnant candidate for one of its clients.

The EEOC said the worker was interviewed around May 2019 for a data mining clerk position at a client company and told Labor Source she was pregnant. The recruiting company then decided to hire more candidates, but the EEOC says Labor Source hired less qualified, non-pregnant people instead.

Under the settlement, Labor Source will pay $ 40,000 in back wages and compensatory damages and provide anti-discrimination training to its own workers. It will also administer a post-training exam to everyone involved in making hiring decisions and will require a pass rate of 90% or higher. Pass and Fail grade reports will be provided to the EEOC.

Preference claims for non-US citizens. The US Department of Justice has announced an agreement with Ameritech Global Inc., an Illinois-based IT recruiting company, whereby the company will pay $ 10,000 in civil fines and review its policies and procedures. The department reported that Ameritech has posted at least three job postings announcing its preference to fill positions with non-U.S. Citizens from August 1, 2019 to at least June 17, 2021.

“Employers who discourage and refuse to hire eligible candidates because of their citizenship or immigration status must be held accountable,” said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice .

Lawsuit filed for allegation of bias on the basis of disability. The EEOC claims that the office of TrueBlue Inc. (NYSE: TBI) in Manassas, Virginia, discriminated against a worker based on her disability and filed a complaint. TrueBlue denies the allegations.

The worker was a marketing coordinator and had to take time off due to a psychiatric disability, according to the EEOC. The company reportedly rejected the request and fired her when she was medically cleared to return to work after hospitalization. The EEOC further alleges that workplace comments were made describing the employee as a “problem child” and stating that she was going in the “crazy trash” in reference to her need for hospital care.

TrueBlue denied the allegations in a statement.

“TrueBlue’s mission is to connect people and work, and we work hard to ensure that workplaces remain free from discrimination and that all of our employees and associates are treated with equality and respect,” the company said in a communicated.

“TrueBlue has not engaged in any illegal conduct in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the company said. “We have a zero tolerance policy on discrimination and are committed to treating our employees fairly and conducting our business ethically. We look forward to providing a complete job picture of the applicant to support our position.

Legal action has been filed over allegations of harassment. Sunshine Raisin Corp., which operates as National Raisin, and Real Time Staffing Services LLC, which operates as Select Staffing, broke the law by failing to prevent and correct sexual harassment against employees, according to the EEOC. The agency filed a complaint against the companies.

The EEOC reported that a supervisor at the Sunshine Raisin’s Fowler, California production plant subjected female employees to verbal and physical sexual harassment. The harassment included frequent unwanted groping and touching, sexually explicit conversations, requests for sexual favors and threats of retaliation, according to the EEOC. He alleged companies failed to respond to multiple harassment complaints filed against Sunshine Raisin employees and workers who reported misconduct were disciplined, fired or felt they had no other choice. than to resign.

Lawsuit filed over allegations of bias involving the plaintiff with one hand. The EEOC sued Elwood Staffing Services, claiming that a Utah office discriminated against a candidate with one hand. The applicant had received an offer to work as a product assembler for a client, but the recruiting company did not administer one of the two pre-employment tests because the applicant did not have his left hand. The EEOC also claims that Elwood did not provide him with reasonable accommodation before choosing not to hire him.

Elwood Staffing has denied the allegations.

“Elwood Staffing challenges and will vigorously defend these allegations which are totally contrary to the spirit and practice of how Elwood Staffing associates and defends its associate associates,” the company said in a statement. “Elwood Staffing denies illegally failing to hire Ms. Cordero due to a disability that would have required reasonable accommodation to meet a client’s hiring requirements and maintains that Ms. Cordero remained an employee at all times. by Elwood Staffing. “

The company also noted that the EEOC had been inactive on the allegations for almost four years and that the press release inaccurately describes what happened.

“Elwood Staffing provides reasonable accommodation to all qualified applicants who request or appear to need reasonable accommodation, including providing a change in the working environment or standard processes that allow a qualified person with a disability to apply for a job. employment, perform the essential functions of the job, or have equal access to benefits available to other people in the workplace, ”he said in a statement.

The company also said it is an equal opportunity employer and does not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination or retaliation while working to remove discriminatory barriers brought to its attention.

“Elwood Staffing, in accordance with its employee handbook which was distributed to Ms. Cordero at the time of her hire, provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants and associates regardless of age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, veteran status or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state or local law, ”the company said in a statement. “This policy governs all areas of employment at Elwood Staffing, including recruiting, hiring, training, assignments, promotions, compensation, benefits, discipline and terminations.”

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