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PRESS RELEASE
7-1-15

EEOC Sues Windings for Race Discrimination

Federal Agency Alleges Company Failed to Hire Bi-Racial Applicant Because of His Race

MINNEAPOLIS - A manufacturing company based in New Ulm, Minn., violated civil rights law by failing to hire an applicant who is bi-racial (African-American and white) because of his race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed here today.

According to Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago, the EEOC's pre-suit administrative investigation revealed that Windings, Inc., refused to hire Tommie Kimball for a vacant assembler position, and instead hired a white applicant.

Kimball applied for a vacant assembler job and interviewed with the company on Jan. 9, 2014, the EEOC said. Kimball was qualified for the job as he passed the job-related assessment tests, and had previous work experience as an assembler. Windings did not hire Kimball for the job, and instead hired a white applicant. The EEOC alleges that Kimball was not hired because of his race.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees from discrimination based on race. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Windings, Inc.; Civil Action No. 15-cv-02901) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay and compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.

"Federal law is crystal-clear: Employers may not refuse to hire individuals because of their race," said John Hendrickson, regional attorney for the EEOC's Chicago District. "The EEOC will vigorously fight to eliminate this sort of injustice."

The EEOC's litigation will be led by Senior Trial Attorney Tina Burnside in its Minneapolis Area Office and supervised by Associate Regional Attorney Jean Kamp in the agency's Chicago District Office. That office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and litigation in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.