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Press Release 02-25-2020

Coffel Vending to Pay $22,000 to Settle EEOC Race Hiring Suit

Relief Obtained for Black Applicant Denied Vending Servicer Job Because of Race

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A northern Indiana vending and coffee service provider will pay $22,000 and other significant relief to resolve a race discrimination lawsuit filed last year by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Coffel Vending Company, located in Mishawaka, Ind., discriminated against a black applicant in filling vending service representative positions.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division (EEOC v. Coffel Vending Company, Case No. 3:19-cv-00596-PPS-MGG) in August 2019 after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to providing monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit requires that Coffel train hiring personnel on Title VII's prohibition of race-based hiring and how to create an inclusive and diverse workplace. Coffel must also issue an apology letter to the rejected applicant. The EEOC will monitor com­pliance with the four-year decree.

"Applicants must be evaluated for jobs based on their qualifications with no disadvantage because of their race," said EEOC Regional Attorney Kenneth L. Bird.

EEOC Indianapolis District Director Michelle Eisele added, "We are pleased that Coffel Vending is willing to educate its hiring personnel on discrimination and how best to create a diverse workplace."

The EEOC's Indianapolis District Office oversees Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and parts of Ohio. Eliminating barriers to recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that dis­criminate against people with disabilities or racial, ethnic, and religious groups, older workers, and women, is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal law prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.