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PRESS RELEASE
4-25-17

Kansas City Cabinetmaker to Pay $60,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

Profile Cabinet and Design Fired Black Workers Because of Their Race, Federal Agency Said

ST. LOUIS - Profile Cabinet and Design, a Kansas City, Mo., custom cabinetmaker, will pay $60,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC filed suit against the company in August 2016, alleging that Profile Cabinet and Design violated federal law by discriminating against two employees, Brandon Fitzpatrick and Theopilis Bryant, because of their race. According to the suit, the company fired both men, who are African-American, for allegedly falsifying Bryant's time card, even though there was evidence that a white employee, who was not fired, was the one responsible for the time card issue.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, in Kansas City, Missouri (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. QWP Holdings, LLC, d/b/a Profile Cabinet, No. 4:16-cv-00925-HFS) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to $60,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree signed by Judge Howard F. Sachs settling the suit enjoins Profile Cabinet and Design from violating Title VII in the future and requires the company to revise its anti-discrimination policies and procedures, as well as provide annual training to managers and employees on anti-discrimination laws and race discrimination. The decree also requires the company to make quarterly reports to the EEOC about any complaints of race discrimination and the discharge of any employee.

"Employers must take affirmative steps to ensure that workplace decisions are made without respect to race," said James R. Neely, Jr., director of EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "Holding employees to different standards of conduct based on race is unlawful, and the EEOC will continue to combat it."

Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC's regional attorney in St. Louis, said, "We are hopeful that the policies and practices put in place as a result of this consent decree will lead to a more equitable workplace for all employees at this company, and set a good example for others."

Dayna Deck, the EEOC senior trial attorney in Kansas City who handled the case, added, "These two gentlemen desired careers as skilled carpenters and worked diligently to learn their trade. Unfortunately, their hard work was not rewarded with equal treatment. Going forward, we hope that Profile will become an employer committed to treating all employees fairly and giving them an opportunity to advance in the company without regard to race."

The St. Louis District Office oversees Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and a portion of southern Illinois.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.