Foley Products Company, a Columbus, Ga.-based concrete products company, has settled a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC charged that Foley failed to promote Fred Pharham, who is black, and then subsequently fired him, both because of his race. Mr. Pharham was the only black single leadman (direct supervisor of a crew within a department) working at Foley’s Clanton facility. The settlement will also include significant injunctive relief.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits race discrimination. The EEOC filed the lawsuit against Foley Products in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The Court issued a two-year consent decree and the suit has now been resolved by way of the settlement. Pursuant to the decree, Foley agreed to implement new policies and practices designed to prevent further harassment, employee training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the work site and other injunctive relief. Foley is also enjoined from engaging in any further employment practice which has the purpose or effect of discriminating against anyone on the basis of race and from retaliating against employees for opposing discriminatory practices. In addition, Foley agreed to provide reports to the EEOC on complaints of alleged race discrimination.
Previously in this lawsuit, the Court issued an order on July 11th denying Foley’s motion for summary judgment on the merits of the EEOC’s two racial discrimination claims, which were failure to promote and discriminatory discharge. Thus, the Court allowed the case to proceed to trial. The EEOC sought monetary relief for Mr. Pharham as part of its lawsuit. The claims for monetary relief were settled separately by the parties. In its order, the Court recognized this resolution of part of the case and therefore refused to allow the case to go to trial. Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, had this to say:
We commend Foley Products for acting in a positive, proactive manner to prohibit race discrimination by entering into this settlement. Under the decree, the revisions of Foley’s policies, procedures and protocols on race will have a positive effect on the entire work force and advance racial equality there.
Steven L. Murray and Gerald L. Miller, senior trial attorneys in the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, served as lead attorneys throughout the EEOC’s prosecution and litigation of this action. Murray had this to say:
Race too often continues to be a key factor in denying employees access to rights and advancement. The EEOC is committed to eradicating race discrimination from the American workplace.
In addition to the Clanton facility, Foley also has facilities in Newnan and Winder, Ga. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC’s Birmingham District consists of Alabama, parts of Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. If you need further information about the EEOC, it’s available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
Source: Clanton Advertiser
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