The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Union Allegedly Refused to Refer Journeypersons for Work On Equal Basis Due to Race and National Origin

NEW YORK Ė Local 580, Ornamental Iron Workers, a construction trade union in New York City, will pay $800,000 and provide substantial remedial relief to partially settle a contempt action filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC had charged that Local 580 failed and refused to refer nonwhite journeypersons to jobs on the same basis that it referred its white journeyperson workers because of their race and national origin, which resulted in a substantial disparity in the hours worked between the two groups. According to the EEOCís contempt action, filed on June 4, 2001, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, for the period of September 1, 1992 to August 31, 2004, Local 580 did not refer nonwhite journeyperson workers to jobs on a nondiscriminatory basis. The partial settlement covers the referral period of September 1, 1992 to August 31, 2004.

Race and national origin discrimination violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the courtís prior order on journeyperson referral. The EEOCís settlement of the contempt portion of the case has been approved by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Carter.

The EEOCís contempt action alleged that Local 580 violated the courtís previous orders on the referral of journeyperson workers on a nondiscriminatory basis, the apprentice-to-journeyperson ratio requirement on job sites, and the implementation of computerized recordkeeping and reporting systems. The EEOC had obtained a partial settlement on the apprentice-to-journeyperson ratio requirement violation in 2005. The EEOC is continuing to monitor Local 580ís compliance with the courtís order on the computerized recordkeeping and referral systems.

In addition to the monetary relief obtained for 45 back pay claimants, including nine individuals who filed charges of discrimination against Local 580, the settlement provides payments to an Employee Assistance and Training Fund to provide training as well as to assist journeyperson workers with the purchase of tools needed to perform work within Local 580ís jurisdiction in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Westchester County.

ďThe EEOC is pleased that Local 580 worked with us to reach this partial settlement, which will benefit all Local 580 journeyperson workers,Ē said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Johnnie Louis Johnson III.

EEOC New York District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. added, ďThis settlement confirms that the EEOC is committed to monitoring compliance with the court orders it obtains and to ensuring that all construction trade workers are able to obtain job referrals and works on a nondiscriminatory basis. The EEOC will continue to work to make sure that construction trade unions, as well as those contractors who work with them, respect the crucial right of all construction trade workers to enjoy work on a nondiscriminatory basis.Ē

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

This page was last modified on May 8, 2007.

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