Posted On: August 13, 2009

EEOC Files Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Propak Logistics alleging reverse discrimination. According to the lawsuit, from October 1, 2002, through June 30, 2004, based Propak Logistics, Inc. engaged in unlawful employment practices by refusing to hire an entire class of people for non-management positions at its Shelby, N.C., facility because of their non-Hispanic national origin. The complaint said that the company hired predominantly Latinos to the exclusion of equally or more qualified non-Latinos--this is also known as reverse discrimination.

This type of discrimination is national origin discrimination and it is usually filed against companies for not hiring minorities but the door swings both way. A company cannot discriminate against any group based on race or national origin. If a company does discrimination based on national origin, the employee is protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Discrimination based on national origin is simply illegal, regardless of the background of the victims or the beneficiaries of that misconduct,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.
“This case represents the unfortunate reality that some employers are willing to discriminate against one racial or cultural group in favor of another,” said Lynette Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office.

National origin discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division (Civil Action No. 3: 09-CV-00347) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The agency seeks back pay for the discrimination victims, along with compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.