The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


EEOC Settles Lawsuit on Behalf of Hispanic Employees

Allegedly Denied Promotions to Management Jobs

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has settled its national origin discrimination lawsuit against the successor of U S WEST Communications, Qwest Communications International Inc., for $400,000.  The EEOC achieved the settlement on behalf of a group of Hispanic employees who the EEOC alleged were denied promotions to management jobs at company's Portland, Oregon, facilities from 1998 through 2001.  The company has denied these allegations.

The company agreed to a two-year consent decree in which it agreed to pay the group $400,000.  Qwest will maintain its annual employment discrimination training and continue to provide training to hiring managers in Portland, Oregon.  It will provide annual reports to the EEOC for the duration of the decree.

“We are committed to fighting discrimination in all its forms and in every jurisdiction. This settlement represents a fair and equitable resolution of the disputed issues in the case,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo.

"Employers cannot make promotion decisions that discriminate on the basis of national origin,” said EEOC San Francisco District Office Director Joan Ehrlich.  “Employers should not only avoid discrimination, but should find ways to build on the assets diversity brings.”

Qwest's Oregon president Judy Peppler said, “Valuing diversity and treating fellow Qwest team members with respect and trust have long been and remain central to our corporate values.”

Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q) has headquarters in Denver, Colorado, maintains a broadband network that serves 14 western and mid-western states, and employs nearly 40,000 people, according to the company’s web site  Qwest acquired U S WEST Communications Inc. in June 2000.

The EEOC enforces the nation's laws in the private and federal sectors prohibiting employ­ment discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age and disability. The Seattle Field Office is part of the San Francisco District, with jurisdiction over Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

This page was last modified on April 13, 2006.

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