Bloomington Company Fired Woman Because of Disability and Race, Federal Agency Charged
INDIANAPOLIS – RMG Communications, LLC, doing business as Bloom Marketing Group, a Bloomington, Ind., telemarketing firm, will pay $60,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability and race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Bloom discriminated against a black employee when it sent her for a drug screen when she experienced symptoms of diabetes at work. Although the employee successfully passed the drug screen, Bloom fired her afterward. The EEOC charged that Bloom’s decision to send the employee for a drug screen was based on the fact she is African American, and that Bloom fired her because of her disability, insulin-dependent diabetes, and her race.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No.1:08-cv-0947-WTL-TAB) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
The settlement by consent decree, dated December 16, 2009, provides that the employee will be paid $10,000 in back pay and $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The decree also requires Bloom to provide training to its managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel on the topics of race and disability discrimination, post a notice of non-discrimination at its worksite and submit reports to the EEOC detailing its compliance with the decree.
“Discrimination, in any form, should not be tolerated in today’s workplace, said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “There is no excuse, in this day and age, for an employer to make a decision to send an employee for a drug screen based on her race. In this case, the employee successfully passed the drug test, but was terminated nonetheless. This type of reckless employer conduct should not be tolerated. The EEOC will vigorously prosecute employers who engage in this type of conduct.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.