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Schindler Elevator Corporation Sued By EEOC for Race Discrimination

African-American Employee Terminated Because of His  Race,  Federal Agency Charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Schindler  Elevator Corporation, one of the leading global manufacturers, installers, and  servicers of elevators, escalators and moving walkways, discriminated against a  black elevator mechanic when it fired him because of his race, the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed  today.  The company maintains it  headquarters in Morristown, N.J.

According to the EEOC's suit, Schindler discriminated against Ronnie  White, who is African-American, when it selected him for layoff from a larger  group of employees all working at a company facility located in Charlotte.  The company selected White for termination  for allegedly having weaker technical and customer service skills than his  Caucasian co-workers.  The EEOC contends  in its lawsuit that Schindler did not have a formal layoff procedure in place,  and instead allowed the process to be determined solely by a field  superintendent.  The field superintendent  selected White for termination from a group of three employees in spite of the  fact that White had higher scores in all of the considered categories than one  of the white employees who was retained, and higher scores in all categories  except one than the other Caucasian who was retained.

Race discrimination violates  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.   The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western  District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division (Civil Action No. 3:12 CV 00639),  after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.  The agency seeks back pay for White as well as compensatory and  punitive damages, and injunctive relief. 

"It is important that employers have procedures in place that  ensure fairness to the affected individuals when determining who will be  discharged, hired or promoted," said Lynette Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's  Charlotte District Office.  "By doing so,  the employer gives all employees or potential employees the chance to be  evaluated based on skill, experience and other factors that can be measured,  and thus minimizes the chance that illegal factors such as race will be  considered in the process.  The EEOC will  continue its practice of vigorously addressing race discrimination in the  workplace."

Tina Burnside, supervisory trial attorney for the Charlotte  District Office, added, "Employment decisions must be based on objective  criteria and merit, and federal law prohibits selecting an employee for layoff  or firing such employee because of his race."

The EEOC enforces federal  laws prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency's web  site at