- An Illinois-based temp agency has agreed to pay $568,000 to settle U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusations that its firms discriminated against Black and female applicants and employees.
- Personnel Staffing Group, LLC., doing business as Most Valuable Personnel (MVP) and MVP Workforce, allegedly sent Black and female workers on work assignments with fewer hours and refused to send them on other assignments altogether. EEOC said the companies did this "either on their own initiative or to honor the discriminatory requests of clients who did not want Black workers or sought only men for certain assignments."
- In addition to the monetary settlement, the employer agreed to inform applicants and employees how to complain of discrimination; create and maintain records of all applicant information; and train employees involved in the hiring and assignment process about Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The EEOC has made clear that client preference is no defense to discrimination charges. "Employers may not rely on the discriminatory preferences of coworkers, customers, or clients as the basis for adverse employment actions in violation of Title VII," the Commission said in an enforcement guidance.
Employers violate Title VII when they assign or refuse to assign workers to certain positions, deny promotions or otherwise segregate workers into jobs based on a protected class such as race or sex or national origin. For example, a male ultrasound technician cannot be terminated because patients prefer female technicians, EEOC has said.
Similarly, a Texas-based fast food eatery, Whataburger Restaurants LLC, agreed to pay $180,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging retaliation and constructive discharge of one of its former hiring managers who said the general manager repeatedly told her to hire white, not Black, applicants for employment because upper management wanted its workforce to reflect the eatery's customer base.