African American Greeter Targeted With Racial Slurs and Fired Due to Race, Federal Agency Charged
NEW YORK -- J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. will pay $50,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC had charged that J.C. Penney discriminated against Reinell Singh, an African American who worked as a greeter welcoming customers into Penney’s Staten Island store at the Staten Island Mall on 140 Marsh Avenue. The EEOC's lawsuit says that Singh's supervisor referred to her several times using racially offensive names and subsequently fired her for racial reasons.
In addition to the $50,000 in compensatory damages to be paid to Singh, the three-year consent decree resolving the case (EEOC v. J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., Civil Action No.06 5192 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York) includes injunctive relief enjoining J.C. Penney from race discrimination or retaliation; requiring the adoption of a non-discrimination policy and complaint procedures; anti-discrimination training; posting of a notice about the EEOC and the lawsuit; a memorandum setting forth the requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to all store employees; monitoring and reporting.
“In spite of advances since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was enacted 44 years ago, race discrimination still remains one of the most pervasive problems in today’s workplace,” said Spencer H. Lewis, director of the EEOC’s New York District Office. “Racial slurs must simply not be tolerated, and the EEOC will fight to eradicate any such discrimination from the workplace.”
Konrad Batog, the EEOC’s trial attorney assigned to the case, added, “All employees have a right to be judged by their work performance and not their race. This consent decree will help make sure that what happened to Ms. Singh does not happen to any other J.C. Penney employee.”
On February 28, 2007, the Commission launched its E-RACE Initiative (Eradicating Racism and Colorism from Employment), a national outreach, and education and enforcement campaign focusing on new and emerging race and color issues in the 21st century workplace. Further information about the E-RACE Initiative is available on the EEOC's website at http://www.eeoc.gov/initiative/e-race/index.html.
The EEOC is the government agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. Further information about EEOC is available on the agency's web site at http://www.eeoc.gov.