PBM Graphics to Pay $334,000 to Settle EEOC Discrimination Suit
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Printing Company Provided Fewer Work Hours to Non-Hispanic Temporary Workers
RALEIGH, N.C. -- PBM Graphics, Inc., a Research Triangle Park, N.C., printing company, will pay $334,000 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. 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 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. PBM Graphics, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Civil Action No. 1:11-CV-00805), PBM routinely used temporary workers for its production needs. The EEOC's complaint charged that PBM engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against non-Hispanic temporary workers who worked in its light bindery production jobs. Specifically, the EEOC said, from at least Jan. 1, 2003, to the present, PBM developed a "core group" of regular temporary workers. The temporary workers in the "core group" were told by the company 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 this core group, and that membership in the core group 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 PBM's Research Triangle Park facility on Title VII and its prohibition against national origin discrimination in the workplace. PBM 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, which includes the EEOC's Raleigh Area Office, where the charge was filed. "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."
PBM Graphics is a full-service printing and graphics communications company which employs almost 600 full-time employees as well as numerous temporary workers.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available at its website at www.eeoc.gov.