Freight Management Firm Sued for Not Hiring Non-Hispanics

A nationwide freight management company violated federal law by refusing to hire non-Hispanics, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed this week.

According to EEOC, from around Oct. 1, 2002, through June 30, 2004, Fort Smith, Ark.-based Propak Logistics Inc. engaged in unlawful employment practices by refusing to hire an entire class of people for non-management positions at its Shelby, N.C., facility because of their non-Hispanic national origin. The complaint says that the company hired predominantly Latinos to the exclusion of equally or more qualified non-Latinos.

"Discrimination based on national origin is simply illegal, regardless of the background of the victims or the beneficiaries of that misconduct," said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. "The EEOC is here to fight such unlawful behavior."

National origin discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division (Civil Action No. 3: 09-CV-00347) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The agency seeks back pay for the discrimination victims, along with compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

"This case represents the unfortunate reality that some employers are willing to discriminate against one racial or cultural group in favor of another," said Lynette Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "The EEOC will continue to scrutinize allegations of this sort of misconduct and, when necessary, pursue them in court."

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