Dental Benefit Administration Company Rejected Qualified African American Candidate Based on Race, Federal Agency Charged
MILWAUKEE -Scion Dental, a Wisconsin-based dental benefit administration company, has agreed to pay $98,000 and to provide other relief to settle a race discrimination case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Scion Dental violated federal antidiscrimination law when it failed to hire a temporary employee into a permanent position because she is African American. The EEOC said Scion twice rejected the temporary employee's application, despite her solid job performance, while hiring seven less qualified non-African Americans for the position.
The consent decree, entered by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Jones on July 13, 2018, prohibits race discrimination in hiring. In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree requires Scion Dental to provide training on race discrimination to all its employees, to report any complaints by its employees about race discrimination, and to report to the EEOC regarding all hiring decisions until December of 2020. The settlement followed a decision denying summary judgment to Scion and holding that the EEOC had presented evidence from which a jury could conclude Scion's goal of "changing the face" of the department was evidence of race discrimination.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on race. The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Scion Dental, Inc., Case No. 2:16-cv-1208) in the Eastern District of Wisconsin after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.
Scion Dental has, since the EEOC filed its lawsuit, merged with three other companies and is now known as SKYGEN USA.
"When race factors into an employer's hiring decisions and African American candidates are passed over in hiring in favor of less qualified candidates who aren't African American, the EEOC will use its litigation resources forcefully to remedy such violations," said Gregory Gochanour, regional attorney for the EEOC's Chicago District Office.
The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and conducts the agency's litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, with area offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
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.