The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
8-26-09

REXAM BEVERAGE CAN SETTLES EEOC RACE AND NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

BIRMINGHAM – Rexam Beverage Can Americas, Inc., the American division of the world’s leading beverage can maker, will pay $30,000 and provide remedial relief to settle a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC had charged that Delaware-based Rexam Beverage Can Company treated Jamie Garza, an electrician in Rexam’s Birmingham, Ala., plant, differently because of his Hispanic race and Mexican national origin. The discriminatory conduct took the form of inappropriate statements to Garza, subjecting him to increased supervisory review, demotion and discipline because of his race and national origin.

Race and national origin discrimination violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

The lawsuit was assigned to Judge R. David Proctor of the Northern District of Alabama and is captioned EEOC, et al. v. Rexam Beverage Can Company, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:07-cv-1768-RDP.

In the consent decree settling the suit, Rexam specifically denies the allegations. As part of the decree, Rexam will pay $30,000 to Garza. The 12-month decree also requires Rexam to adopt, implement and post anti-discrimination policies and procedures and provide anti-discrimination training.

“The EEOC is committed to eliminating racism and colorism in all its forms from the American workplace,” EEOC Birmingham District Director Delner Franklin-Thomas said.

EEOC Birmingham District Regional Attorney C. Emanuel Smith added, “This litigation sends the message that race and national origin discrimination is never acceptable in the workplace. Employees have a right to be free of discrimination based on race or national origin.”

Rexam Beverage Can Americas is part of the London-based Rexam conglomerate, an international group that is one of the world's leading consumer packaging groups and, according to company information, the world's number one beverage can maker.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.


This page was last modified on August 26, 2009.

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