The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Federal Agency Charged Staffing Company Fired Older White Woman for Complaining About Race, Age Bias

ATLANTA – Spencer Reed Group, LLC, a Kansas-based staffing company, unlawfully discriminated against a 55-year-old Caucasian employee because of her race and age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today. Spencer Reed provides staffing and administrative services to the federal General Services Administration (GSA).

According to the EEOC, Spencer Reed Group violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by subjecting Diane Coleman to discrimination due to her race and age, and then firing her in retaliation for reporting the unlawful conduct. The EEOC said that Coleman, a senior functional analyst for Spencer Reed, was subjected to differential treatment by her younger African American supervisor at Spencer Reed’s facility in Lawrenceville, Ga. Coleman reported the discrimination to her employer and was fired one day after submitting her internal complaint. Coleman was the only Caucasian and the oldest employee in her department, the EEOC said.

Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against people due to race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The ADEA makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who are 40-years-old or older because of age. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (1:09-CV-02228-CAP-RGV) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. The agency’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and liquidated damages for Coleman. The lawsuit also seeks injunctive relief designed to stop and prevent future discrimination.

“Every employee has the lawful right to work in an environment free of discrimination, without regard to race, age or color” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Dawkins of the agency’s Atlanta District Office. “Ms. Coleman was singled out for unfair treatment by her supervisor. Worse yet, she was fired right after reporting the discrimination to her employer. The EEOC is committed to prosecuting employers who allow such differential treatment and retaliation to occur in the workplace.”

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

This page was last modified on August 18, 2009.

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