PBM Graphics to Pay $334,000 to Settle EEOC Discrimination Suit
RALEIGH, NC—Dec. 10, 2012—PBM Graphics, a printing company based in Research Triangle Park, NC, will pay $334,000 to settle a “national origin” discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced. The EEOC had charged that PBM violated federal law by refusing to place and/or assign non-Hispanic workers to its “core group” of regular temporary workers.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, PBM routinely used temporary workers for its production needs. The complaint charged that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against non-Hispanic temporary workers who worked in its light bindery production jobs. PBM Graphics is a full-service printing and graphics communications company that employs almost 600 full-time employees, as well as numerous temporary workers.
Specifically, the EEOC said that—from at least Jan. 1, 2003, to the present—PBM developed a “core group” of regular temporary workers. The workers in this group were told to continue to come to work for PBM unless otherwise notified, unlike other temporary workers who worked for PBM only on an “as-needed” basis. The EEOC alleged that approximately 50-75 persons were assigned to the core group, and that its membership was disproportionately Hispanic, to the exclusion of similarly qualified non-Latino temporary workers.
The suit further charged that PBM assigned a disproportionately greater number of work hours to Hispanic temporary workers than to similarly qualified non-Latino temporary workers, thereby denying non-Hispanic temporary workers hours of work based on their non-Hispanic national origin.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary damages, the settlement requires PBM to provide annual training to all its managers and supervisors at the Research Triangle Park facility on Title VII and its prohibition of national-origin discrimination in the workplace. The company must also post an employee notice concerning the lawsuit and employee rights under federal anti-discrimination laws, as well as provide periodic reports to the EEOC.
“We hope this lawsuit reminds employers that they cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin, regardless of the national origin of the perpetrators, victims or beneficiaries of the discrimination,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “Employers must also remember that they are responsible for temporary employees in their workplaces and must assign hours to them without regard to their national origin.”
Tina Burnside, supervisory trial attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, added, “Title VII requires employers to provide equal employment opportunities to all workers including temporary workers, and employers cannot discriminate against temporary employees in job assignments or other terms and conditions of employment.”
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing the federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available online.