J.C. Penney to Pay $50,000 to Settle Race Discrimination Suit

J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. will pay $50,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced. EEOC had charged that the company discriminated against Reinell Singh, an African American who worked as a greeter welcoming customers into Penney's store at the Staten Island Mall in Staten Island, N.Y. EEOC's lawsuit says that Singh's supervisor referred to her several times using racially offensive names and subsequently fired her for racial reasons.

In addition to the $50,000 in compensatory damages to be paid to Singh, the three-year consent decree resolving the case (EEOC v. J.C. Penney Corporation Inc., Civil Action No.06 5192 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York) includes injunctive relief enjoining J.C. Penney from race discrimination or retaliation and requiring the adoption of a non-discrimination policy and complaint procedures; anti-discrimination training; posting of a notice about EEOC and the lawsuit; a memorandum setting forth the requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to all store employees; monitoring and reporting.

"In spite of advances since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was enacted 44 years ago, race discrimination still remains one of the most pervasive problems in today's workplace," said Spencer H. Lewis, director of EEOC's New York District Office. "Racial slurs must simply not be tolerated, and the EEOC will fight to eradicate any such discrimination from the workplace."

On Feb. 28, 2007, the Commission launched its E-RACE Initiative (Eradicating Racism and Colorism from Employment), a national outreach, education, and enforcement campaign focusing on new and emerging race and color issues in the 21st century workplace. More information about this initiative is available on the EEOC's Web site at www.eeoc.gov/initiative/e-race/index.html.

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