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EEOC, Black employee reach settlement in racial discrimination case

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Dive Brief:

  • A former employee and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached a binding settlement agreement Aug. 1 for a lawsuit alleging the agency paid her, a Black woman, less than a White man for completing the same tasks and having the same responsibilities. 
  • Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and the EEOC and the plaintiff’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
  • A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in March had ordered the case go to trial, saying, “The jury will be in the best position to watch the watchmen.” However, the parties in June decided to begin settlement negotiations.

Dive Insight:

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that ban discrimination in the workplace over race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and genetic information. Yet, in this case, the agency had to defend itself against such claims. 

In March, a Swiss-based manufacturer of circular connectors for medical devices agreed to a $460,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by the EEOC that alleged the company fired a human resource director and replaced her with two younger workers after she challenged the company on its plans to replace older older workers with a younger workforce. 

And, in June, pharmaceutical giant Lilly USA settled for $2.4 million in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging it failed to hire older applicants because of their age.

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