Skip top navigation Skip to content

Print   Email  Share

PRESS RELEASE
6-15-16

Newark Port Automobile Processing Facility to Pay $350,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

FAPS Refused to Recruit and Hire African-Americans, Federal Agency Charged

NEWARK, N.J. -- FAPS, Inc., one of the country's largest automotive re-delivery service firms, operating in the port area of Newark, will pay $350,000 and undertake significant remedial measures to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

EEOC's suit charged that FAPS engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-Americans in recruitment and hiring by relying on word-of-mouth recruiting that deterred them from applying; refusing to hire qualified African-American applicants; and falsely telling black applicants that no positions were available when in fact FAPS was hiring.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in hiring based on race. EEOC's lawsuit also charged that FAPS's employment application contained improper pre-employment medical inquiries, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC filed suit in June 2010 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-03095) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief to be distributed to the qualified but rejected African-American applicants, the five-year consent decree settling the suit, entered on June 14, 2016 by U.S.

District Judge John Michael Vazquez, provides substantial non-monetary relief to insure non-discrimination in the company's future recruiting and hiring. Specifically, FAPS will:

  • make good-faith efforts to meet designated hiring goals for African-Americans;
  • use recruiting methods that target black candidates in the local area;
  • give priority in future hiring to persons whom EEOC identified as having been harmed by its past hiring practices;
  • not discourage black candidates from applying, such as by falsely telling them that they are unlikely to be hired if they have a criminal record;
  • hire an equal employment opportunity coordinator to ensure that the company's recruiting and hiring practices comply with Title VII; and
  • provide annual non-discrimination training.

"This case is emblematic of EEOC's commitment to ensure equal opportunity in hiring, particularly in industries with a history of exclusion of African-Americans," said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. "EEOC's New York District has been at the forefront of the efforts to eradicate race discrimination in employment, as seen in this case and in the recent settlements in discrimination cases against the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association." (EEOC, et al. v. Local 638 of the Sheet Metal Workers' Int'l Ass'n, et al., Case No. 71-cv-2887 (LAK)) and (EEOC, et al., v. Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers' Int'l Ass'n, et al., Case No. 71 Civ. 2887 (LAK)). Further information about this litigation can be seen here and here.

"Employers must fully understand that racial bias and stereotypes cannot corrupt recruitment and hiring decisions," said EEOC New York District Director Kevin Berry. "The law requires that black job applicants be afforded the same job opportunities that are granted to everyone else."

Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein of EEOC's New York District Office added, "This case should send a clear message to employers that race discrimination in hiring will not be tolerated, at the ports or anywhere else. We will pursue these cases no matter how long it takes."

Eliminating discriminatory barriers to recruitment and hiring is one of EEOC's six nationwide priorities identified in its Strategic Enforcement Plan for fiscal years 2013-2016.

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov. The New York District Office oversees New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and most of New Jersey.