Company Rejected Qualified Job Candidate Based on Race, Federal Agency Charges
MILWAUKEE - A Menomonee Falls, Wis., dental benefit administration company violated federal law when it refused to hire and then fired an African-American woman because of her race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to EEOC' s complaint, Nartisha Leija, who had successfully performed her job with Scion Dental, Inc. as a temporary employee, was subjected to race discrimination in hiring when Scion disqualified her application for permanent employment. Scion s stated reason for failing to consider Leija was that she lacked a college degree. However, Scion subsequently hired Caucasian applicants without college degrees into the same position. The company continued recruiting for the position and went on to hire four additional non-black candidates before ultimately discharging Leija from her temporary position.
EEOC filed its lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Scion Dental, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:16-cv-1208) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Leija. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to prevent future race discrimination with reporting requirements and training of Scion' s managers and employees on federal equal employment opportunity laws.
"EEOC continues to fight against race discrimination in hiring that prevents African-American applicants from getting hired for jobs they are qualified for," said John Hendrickson, regional attorney for EEOC' s Chicago District Office. "The law requires that black job applicants be afforded the same opportunities granted to everyone else."
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
EEOC' s Chicago District office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.