A steel tubing company in South Lyon, Michigan, will pay $500,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC. According to the suit, Michigan Seamless Tube purchased a company in 2002. Prior to the sale, the company had laid off a number of workers. After the purchase, Michigan Seamless Tube began rehiring the laid-off employees…but none of the former employees who got their jobs back were black.
Many of the white employees who were re-employed had significantly less experience than the African American employees. Adding insult to injury, a number of the 52 rehired white employees had actually been trained by the same African American employees who were not rehired.
The suit also alleges that since 2002, black applicants for new positions have been denied jobs, while Caucasian applicants with fewer qualifications were hired. An EEOC investigation showed that the company’s conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law prohibits discrimination on the base of race, color, religion, nationality, sex or country of origin.
Under the consent decree, Michigan Seamless Tube will pay $500,000 to be distributed amongst a number of black employees and applicants according to a complex formula. The company will begin recruiting black applicants and will provide anti-discrimination training for all employees, managers and executive officers.
“This case shows that race discrimination is still a major problem in today’s workplace, more than 40 years after passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act,” said Trina Mengesha, an EEOC attorney. “We trust that management at Michigan Seamless will change its practices and permanently stop discriminating against qualified black applicants.”
Mengesha noted that on February 28, 2007, EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp launched the Commission’s E-RACE Initiative (Eradicating Racism And Colorism from Employment). E-RACE is a national outreach, education, and enforcement campaign focusing on new and emerging race and color issues in the 21st century workplace.
In 2006, the EEOC received 27,238 complaints alleging race-based discrimination, accounting for 36 percent of the agency’s complaints in the private sector. Historically, race-based charges are the most frequent type of filing with EEOC offices nationwide.
This is just one in a series of settlements for race discrimination this year.
Walgreen recently settled a suit by paying $20 million to employees. The suit alleged that the nation’s largest drugstore retailer limited opportunity for African-American pharmacists and managers by assigning them only to underperforming stores in predominantly black neighborhoods.
That case was brought by employees in Tampa, St. Louis, Kansas City and Detroit but rapidly spread throughout the country. The Walgreen suit was combined with one from 2003, creating more than 10,000 plaintiffs.
The suit against Walgreen sought back pay for the employees plus compensation for “emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation.” It also sought an injunction barring Walgreen from engaging in further discrimination.
Walgreens’ CEO, Jeffrey A. Rein, said, “We are pleased to reach a resolution that is consistent with our past and future diversity and equal opportunity objectives. Our company was built on principles of fairness and equality, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any aspect of employment including store assignment, compensation and promotion opportunities.”
The Walgreen CEO added, “In fact, we’re a drugstore industry leader when it comes to the employment and promotion of African American managers and pharmacists.”
The Walgreen attorneys added, “Walgreens is a rapidly growing company with lots of opportunity for its employees. We look forward to working with Walgreens to promote fair and equal employment opportunities for all employees.”
After settling the Walgreen suit for $20 million, EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp had conciliatory words for the retail giant. “We commend Walgreen for working cooperatively with us to reach an amicable settlement of this case without protracted litigation.” Earp said, “We believe this is a satisfactory resolution for all parties.”
All of the companies mentioned in this article deny the allegations of discrimination.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights was established in 1965 to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws and investigates and resolves discrimination complaints. If you feel you have been discriminated against you would file a complaint with the department within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.
You should be aware of what constitutes discrimination according to Michigan (MI) job discrimination law in the workplace. Employers’ responsibilities to uphold and comply with these laws start with the recruitment and interview process. When advertising a position they shall not target or exclude certain individuals. During an interview an applicant may not be asked questions pertaining to their religion, their membership in a union, whether they have a disability, or other questions, which have been designed to exclude individuals on a discriminatory basis.
Michigan (MI) job discrimination law in the workplace states that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, or handicap. An employer may not refuse employment, deny access to a training program, deny promotion, pay less money for equal work or terminate without just cause based on any of these characteristics.
All jobs must be open to both men and women unless the employer proves that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification. According to Michigan (MI) job discrimination law in the workplace, a woman may not be excluded legally from a job for any of the following reasons: assumption that women are unable or unwilling to do the work, preference of co-workers, employers, clients, or customers, the job has been traditionally restricted to men, the work involves heavy physical labor, manual dexterity, night hours, overtime, or work in isolated locations or unpleasant surroundings, the work involves travel, or travel with co-workers, physical facilities are not available for both sexes or that the job requires personal characteristics.
When it comes to Michigan sexual discrimination law in the workplace, the state has its own civil rights act. The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against its employees on the basis of sex.
Under this act, an employer is someone who has one or more employees. This differs from the federal law because Title VII only applies to those employers who have fifteen or more employees. This law covers discrimination in conditions of employment based on the employee’s gender. This also includes a prohibition of discrimination due to pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions. Sexual harassment is also illegal under this act when submission to the conduct is a condition of employment or a factor affecting an employee’s job or when it creates a hostile working environment.
If you want to file a complaint against your employer, you must do so with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights within 180 days of the alleged civil rights violation. You can either visit or email your regional office to file the complaint.
Someone with the Department will help you file your complaint. What you’ll need to do is write a “Statement of Concern” which the Department will submit to your employer. The Department then gives your employer an opportunity to respond to the complaint and resolve the issue.
From there, a Civil Rights Representative will look at your complaint and determine if there is reasonable cause to believe your rights have been violated. If reasonable cause is found, you’ll then enter the conciliation process with your employer. If you are unable to reach a settlement, your case will enter a public hearing.
You do have the option to go directly through the federal or state courts if you don’t want to go through the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. First, though, you’ll need to request a “Right to Sue” letter from either the EEOC or the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
It’s up to employers and employees to know their rights and responsibilities when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. Employers can help with this process by always keeping and up-to-date Michigan Labor Law Poster posted in the workplace.
No worker in Michigan can be discriminated against in the workplace. A qualified person can’t be denied a job, denied a promotion, terminated, or treated unfairly in any other way. Workers also have to be informed of their rights and protections under both Michigan and federal law. The Michigan state discrimination posters inform the employees of such rights and protections. These posters must be displayed in almost every workplace.
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created in 1963 to protect people from discrimination. The Michigan Constitution directs the Commission to investigate any and all claims of discrimination due to race, religion, color, or national origin. Throughout the past several years, Michigan has amended its constitution to further protect people from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, marital status, arrest record, or physical and mental disabilities.
In 1965 the Michigan Department of Civil Rights was created to help implement the policy the Michigan Civil Rights Commission created. One of their major jobs is to educate both employers and employees of what discrimination is and how it can be avoided. If a person feels that he/she has been discriminated against at work, that person must file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights within one hundred and eighty days from the time the alleged act of discrimination occurred.
There are several state and federal employment posters that must be displayed in nearly every workplace. One type of poster is the Michigan state discrimination posters. These posters must contain specific information. The Michigan state discrimination posters must also be displayed in a place where all employees have a very good chance of seeing them. It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure that the Michigan state discrimination posters, along with all the other required posters, are displayed in the appropriate places. Failure to do so is against the law.