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PRESS RELEASE
10-1-14

Prestige Transportation Service to Pay $200,000 and Mend Hiring Practices to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Predecessor Company Refused to Hire African-Americans, Federal Agency Charged

MIAMI - Prestige Transportation Service, LLC. a Miami company which provides transportation services to airline personnel to and from Miami International Airport, will pay $200,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged in its suit that Prestige's predecessor company, Airbus Alliance, Inc., which was under different ownership, repeatedly instructed its human resources manager not to hire African-American applicants because they were "trouble" and "would sue the company."  Airbus also stated that it would be a "waste of paper" to give applications to black employees, the EEOC said.

According to the EEOC's suit, Airbus's owners referred to one employee as "the monkey" and fired her after she filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC.  In addition, Airbus terminated its human resources manager and another employee once they opposed the company's discriminatory practices. 

Such alleged practices violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race.  The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 1:13-cv-20684) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after first attempting to reach a settlement through its conciliation process.

According to the terms of the four-year consent decree approved late Friday, September 26, 2014, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton, Prestige will pay $200,000 to settle the suit.  Payments will be made to three named claimants, as well as a class of black applicants for employment. In addition, Prestige has agreed to the following additional measures as part of the consent decree. The company will:

  • hire class members as openings become available over the next four years;
  • implement numerical goals for the hiring of black applicants;
  • use targeted advertising and recruitment to encourage black applicants to apply for employment at Prestige;
  • implement an anti-discrimination policy that includes clear avenues for reporting discriminatory conduct;
  • train human resources personnel, management personnel, and hiring personnel on an annual basis; and
  • report to the EEOC and keep records about its hiring practices and compliance with the consent decree.

"We are pleased that Prestige -- under its new ownership -- worked with the EEOC in reaching this important settlement," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney of the agency's Miami District Office. "The hiring and policy changes implemented by Prestige demonstrate the company's commitment to hiring African-Americans and we are confident that going forward, Prestige will have a diverse workforce."

Malcolm Medley, director of the EEOC's Miami District, added, "This case demonstrates the EEOC's ongoing commitment to eliminating class barriers in recruitment and hiring. The EEOC will hold employers responsible if they make hiring decisions based on race rather than the applicant's ability to do the job."

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination.  The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.  Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.