November 19, 2011

Koper Furniture Inc. Pays $40,000 To Settle Retaliation Lawsuit

Koper Furniture, Inc. pays $40,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit. The retaliation was based on an employee complaining to management about discrimination based on color and then being fired. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of employee Jose Guadalupe. Usually in cases like this the EEOC tries to settle the case before filing a lawsuit but sometimes it takes the lawsuit to get the parties to settle.

For some unknown reasons many companies fire employees who complain about various types of discrimination. The smartest thing to do would be to investigate the claim and take action against the employee who is engaging in this type of conduct. I am baffled why the company always wants to shoot the messenger. But in the end, justice prevails and the company had to pay up.

“We are delighted that this resolution addresses the systemic problems at this workplace that facilitated the discriminatory misconduct,” said EEOC attorney Malcolm S. Medley.
October 23, 2011

Discrimination Based on Color, Ancestry and National Origin

In Illinois it is a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act to discrimination against an employee based on their color, ancestry or national origin. Many times a person being discriminated against will not know which of the three apply. There are many nuances to how a claim should be drafted to include all three. The reason for the care in drafting is to include all three claims so that the employer can't escape liability.

It is too bad that companies still have employee that are the victims of discrimination but it will only stop when the companies spend more money on training and properly screen employees. In Illinois the number of discrimination cases seems to be rising and the employees are currently under siege. It is very important to speak with an employment attorney to protect your rights.

June 25, 2011

Discrimination Based on Skin Color

My chicago offices gets many inquiries about the difference between racial discrimination and discrimination based on color. Even though there is an overlap between race and color they are not the same. Color discrimination can occur between persons of different races or ethnicities, or between persons of the same race or ethnicity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") investigate color discrimination. It is interesting to note that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") does not define color but the the courts and the EEOC define color to have its commonly understood meaning – pigmentation, complexion, or skin shade or tone.

In short color discrimination occurs when a person is discriminated against based on the lightness, darkness, or other color characteristic of the person. Title VII prohibits color discrimination against all persons, including Caucasians. Many people don't realize this nuance in the law but it does exist. When the IDHR or EEOC are investigating a claim of color discrimination, they utilize a different standard than the circuit or federal courts. They apply the same standard of proof to all race or color discrimination claims, regardless of the victim’s race or the type of evidence used.