PRACTICE LOCATIONS: VA, DC, MD, NY, NC

contact@spigglelaw.comcontact@spigglelaw.com
  • TALK TO A REAL PERSON
  • 202-980-3857202-980-3857

SPLF Employment Blog

EEOC Settles Racial Discrimination Case Against Meat Processing Company

On October 7, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled its racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Chicago Meat Authority, Inc. (CMA) for $1.1 million plus various forms of injunctive relief. What happened in this case and why is its settlement somewhat notable? 

EEOC v. Chicago Meat Authority, Inc.

In February 2018, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against CMA alleging years of various types of systemic racial discrimination. Some of the allegations included:

  • Subjecting African-American employees to race-based harassment, such as racial slurs.
  • Refusing to hire African-American applicants because of their race.
  • Taking affirmative steps to reduce the number of African-American job applicants, including advertising on Spanish-language radio stations and emphasizing job applicants who were referrals from existing employees.
  • Retaliating against African-American employees when they complained about racial discrimination at work.

The terms of the settlement are laid out in a consent decree, which is a type of settlement agreement. However, in addition to monetary damages, it contains injunctive relief that can later be enforced by the court, if necessary. Injunctive relief is a type of equitable relief that requires a person or organization to stop doing certain things or forces them to act in a particular way.

In the EEOC’s case against CMA, it’s the injunctive relief that’s most notable about the settlement. The injunctive relief requires CMA to:

  • Prioritize the hiring of African-American job applicants who were previously denied a job offer, but still want to work for CMA.
  • Make reasonable efforts to hire enough African-Americans so that its workforce is comprised of roughly 50% African-American workers.
  • Develop and implement anti-discrimination training programs for all employees, including management.
  • Create an internal policy to investigate discrimination claims.
  • Set up a hotline for job applicants and current employees to confidentially report racial discrimination.
  • Destroy all records showing that it fired former employee, Angelo Turner.

These terms go above and beyond what most victims of racial discrimination recover in a successful lawsuit against their employer. Even in cases where the EEOC is the plaintiff (where it’s more common to find injunctive relief), these are a lot of duties placed on CMA.

As for monetary relief, the consent decree calls for the creation of a $1.1 million settlement fund to pay for compensatory damages and back pay for all African-American job applicants since 2012 who were denied a job because of their race. The settlement fund also provides compensation to the four CMA employees who suffered racial harassment.

Summing It Up

In most employment law cases, it’s monetary damages that dominate the type of legal recovery. This is often the best remedy for many victims of workplace discrimination. But to prevent future cases of discrimination by a particular employer, it helps to have one or more forms of injunctive relief in place. Injunctive relief is also more likely when the EEOC brings the lawsuit on behalf of the employee.

Share this post

Latest Articles

The Biggest Theft That Nobody Is Talking About

The Biggest Theft That Nobody Is Talking About

At a time when billionaire extraordinaire Elon Musk is dominating headlines with his multi-billion-dollar buying spree, there is another story worth billions that is curiously absent from our Twitter feeds. Unfortunately, rather than recount the spending of riches, this story tells the tale of one of the greatest thefts in American history. Every hour, millions …

The Biggest Theft That Nobody Is Talking About Read More »

Maryland Passes Two Bills To Strengthen Anti-discrimination and Harassment Protection In The Workplace

Maryland Passes Two Bills To Strengthen Anti-discrimination and Harassment Protection In The Workplace

Last night the Maryland General Assembly passed two bills, SB 450 and SB 451, which will increase protections for victims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace.  SB 450 eliminates the ‘severe or pervasive’ standard for harassment claims and creates a new standard for harassment claims in the workplace. The prior ‘severe or pervasive’ standard …

Maryland Passes Two Bills To Strengthen Anti-discrimination and Harassment Protection In The Workplace Read More »

DMV Survey Series: Wage Theft Edition

DMV Survey Series: Wage Theft Edition

*In this series, the author will explore the differences in specific areas of the law between D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, and hopefully answer the age-old question: which state is best for employees? Please remember that this blog post, like all of our posts, offers general information and is NOT legal advice. – Upon reading this …

DMV Survey Series: Wage Theft Edition Read More »

The Supreme Court Decides to Block and Uphold Biden’s Vaccination Mandates

The Supreme Court Decides to Block and Uphold Biden’s Vaccination Mandates

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court made two major decisions. These related to President Biden’s attempts to increase the number of workers who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The first decision temporarily blocked the vaccinate-or-test regulation that applied to employers with 100 or more employees. The second decision allowed the vaccination requirement …

The Supreme Court Decides to Block and Uphold Biden’s Vaccination Mandates Read More »

Talk To A Real Person