Staffing Agency Agrees to Pay $585,000 to Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

Paramount Staffing Inc., a temporary staffing agency headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., will pay $585,000 to resolve a race and national origin lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced recently.

EEOC charged in its suit against Paramount Staffing Inc. (Civil Action No. 2:06-cv-02624-JPM-cgc filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee) that the company failed to place a former employee and a class of African Americans into warehouse positions because of their race and their national origin, when it took over operations from a predecessor company. Instead, it preferred placing Hispanic workers. The EEOC complaint included an allegation that a former employee was terminated from the warehouse job in retaliation for complaining about the alleged discrimination.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race discrimination and retaliation against people who complain of discrimination.

The two year consent decree resolving the suit, signed by U.S. District Chief Judge Jon Phipps McCalla, enjoins Paramount Staffing from: failing to hire African American applicants on the basis of race or national origin; discriminating against African American employees on the basis of race or national origin; and retaliating against any employee or applicant for employment. In addition, Paramount Staffing agreed to create and publish a written hiring and placement policy prohibiting discrimination, to post such policy at its Memphis facilities, and to provide race and national origin discrimination awareness training for all recruiters, and onsite personnel employed by Paramount.

Faye A. Williams, a regional attorney in Memphis in charge of the litigation program in Tennessee, Arkansas, and 17 counties in Northern Mississippi, said, “We commend the former employee who had the courage to step forward and file a charge of discrimination under Title VII. Her action allowed the Commission to challenge the employment practice, preferring one group of employees over another based on race or national origin.”

Paramount Staffing places workers on a permanent, temp to perm, or temporary basis for a wide variety of businesses. It has 12 offices across the United States including Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas.

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