LAS VEGAS - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced it has settled a major race discrimination lawsuit against The Mirage Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip for over $1 million. The EEOC's suit (Case No. CV S-02-1554 RLH - LRL), in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, charged the Mirage with discriminating against African- American and Hispanic applicants from January 1, 1996, until May 31, 1997 a time period prior to the acquisition of The Mirage by MGM Grand, Inc. (Now MGM Mirage) in 2000.
The Settlement Agreement, filed concurrently with the EEOC's lawsuit, provides for $840,000, in financial compensation for a class of African-American and Hispanic applicants, along with implementation of appropriate complaint procedures, anti-discrimination training, and record-keeping obligations to be monitored by the EEOC over the duration of the three-year term of the Agreement. The remaining money will be used to implement training programs.
"We commend the MGM Mirage for working cooperatively with us to reach this agreement," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez. "Unfortunately, almost 40 years after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination against people of color is still all too common in our nation's workplaces. This settlement is another step toward making the promise of equal employment opportunity a reality."
Olophius Perry, Director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction for Nevada, said: "In addition to providing a substantial amount of monetary relief to the victims, the settlement puts in place extensive mechanisms to help prevent discrimination in the future. By monitoring the employer for the next three years, the Commission will be in a position to act quickly should discrimination or retaliation occur again."
Debbie Thomas, Vice President of Human Resources for The Mirage, said: "Under this agreement, The Mirage will supplement its already extensive diversity training program, which is one of the principal elements of the commitment to diversity within our company."
Ms. Thomas continued: "In 2000, our parent company established the industry's first formal diversity program; we greatly value diversity in our workforce. More than 50% of our employees are of minority backgrounds. Additionally, we believe our parent company is the only company in the industry to have established a comprehensive vendor/supplier diversity program as well as a requirement that any contract of construction services include a minority component. We are proud of our record on diversity and look forward to supplementing our existing training efforts with those agreed to as part of this settlement."
Remarking on the cooperation between the EEOC and MGM Mirage in resolving the suit, Anna Y. Park, Regional Attorney of EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, said, "The Commission congratulates all concerned in reaching this settlement. We believe that The Mirage and its parent company are committed to a policy of non-discrimination. During the next three years, we will work with The Mirage to ensure that the procedures put in place by this Settlement Agreement will be administered properly."
In addition to enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation, the EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits gender-based wage discrimination; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.