Company Refused to Hire African-American Applicants, Federal Agency Charges
CLARKSDALE, Miss. - Stone Pony Pizza, Inc., a Clarksdale pizza restaurant and bar, violated federal law by refusing to hire a class of African-American applicants because of their race, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday, May 17, 2013 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC claims Stone Pony Pizza refused to hire African-American applicants as a class for certain positions because of their race. Stone Pony is alleged to have hired only whites for front-of-the-house positions such as server, hostess, waitress, and bartender, and hired African-Americans for back-of-the-house positions such as cook and dishwasher. Additionally, the EEOC charged that Stone Pony maintained a racially segregated workforce and failed to keep job applications as required by law.
The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No., 4:13-cv-00092, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Greenville Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit was brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on race and color. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, hiring relief and an injunction against future discrimination.
"Employers simply cannot refuse to hire applicants based on their race, nor can they segregate employees into certain positions based upon their race," said Katharine Kores, district director of the
EEOC's Memphis District Office. "Applicants should be evaluated based upon their qualifications, not the color of their skin."
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan.
The Memphis District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.