PRESS RELEASE 4-9-09
Federal Agency Charged Liquid Carbon Dioxide and Dry Ice Maker Refused to Promote Black Employee Because of His Race
RICHMOND, Va. – A Radnor, Pa.-based liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice manufacturer will pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Airgas Carbonic, Inc. refused to promote a black employee at its Hopewell, Va., plant because of his race.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Airgas Carbonic, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:08-cv-628 filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia), Airgas Carbonic failed to promote Clarence Seay, a lead operator, to the position of plant manager in August 2005 because he is African American. Seay had worked for the company since 1991 and was fully qualified for the plant manager position. The company did not post the vacant position and instead promoted a white employee who the EEOC argues was less qualified and who had been with the company for less than three years.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the company has agreed to revise its anti-discrimination policy and provide training about federal anti-discrimination laws to all supervisors and employees. The company will also make periodic reports to the EEOC.
“Everyone deserves the freedom to compete and advance on a level playing field without discriminatory barriers,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “Race discrimination is still a persistent problem in the 21st century workplace, more than 40 years after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
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