Trim Masters and Cardinal Freight Carriers Enter ADR Partnerships with Commission
WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the signing of the latest National Universal Agreements to Mediate (NUAMs) with Trim Masters, Inc. and Cardinal Freight Carriers, Inc., bolstering the trend of such partnerships between EEOC and corporate America. The two mediation pacts mark the the 21st and 22nd such agreements signed between the Commission and major corporations to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) prior to an agency investigation or potential litigation.
"The Commission welcomes the addition of these two major national employers to our mediation program," said EEOC Chair Dominguez. "I am very encouraged by the momentum that this program is gaining as we strive to resolve workplace disputes promptly and efficiently."
Under the terms of the NUAMs, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the Commission naming Trim Masters, Inc. and Cardinal Freight Carriers, Inc. as the employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC's mediation unit, as appropriate. The companies will designate corporate representatives to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to expedite a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.
Trim Masters, Inc. is a supplier of interior components to the automobile industry with more than 3,000 employees in California, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The company, which was incorporated in 1987, is headquartered in Harrodsburg, Ky. Larry Carter, Vice President for Human Resources of Trim Masters, Inc., said: "Trim Masters is very pleased with the EEOC's National Mediation Program and believes that it benefits the parties who participate. Although the need for mediation may not be frequent, we believe that signing the universal agreement makes a statement to our commitment to the process of problem resolution in employment issues and to resolve employment matters in a fair and expeditious way."
Cardinal Freight Carriers, Inc., a transportation company and subsidiary of Cardinal Logistics Management, Inc., operates fleets of trucks to haul goods from a customer's distribution center to its stores or to an end user. Headquartered in Concord, N.C., the company has approximately 1,000 employees and does business up and down the Eastern seaboard, the Southern coastal states, Florida, Texas, and California. Michael Kota, General Counsel of Cardinal Logistics Management, Inc., said: "We have used mediation to resolve a variety of legal disputes, including employment disputes, and we believe that the mediation process improves communications and serves parties well."
Expanding mediation is a key component of Chair Dominguez's Five-Point Plan to improve the EEOC's overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the 22 National Universal Agreements to Mediate, EEOC district offices have entered into more than 400 local mediation agreements with employers at the state or regional levels within their respective jurisdictions.
Last month, the EEOC forged a mediation partnership with Boise, Idaho-based food and drug retailer Albertsons, Inc., which operates more than 2,300 stores in 31 states and has annual sales of approximately $36 billion. In August, the EEOC signed an NUAM with Vineland, N.J.-based Kimble Glass, Inc., which manufactures a variety of glass tubing and related glassware and employs approximately 1,250 people in the United States with operations in North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, and New Jersey. The names of the other employers that have entered into NUAMs, most of which are Fortune 500 companies, are confidential at their request.
The topic of mediation will be the focus of the next public Commission Meeting on Tuesday morning, December 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at EEOC Headquarters, 1801 L Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. During the meeting, the Commission will hear from a wide range of speakers including employer representatives, EEOC mediation staff, representatives of the private bar, and professionals in dispute resolution and human resources. EEOC will also issue a comprehensive report examining employer participation in its National Mediation Program.
The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government. Further information about the Commission, including the National Mediation Program, is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.