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Press Release 08-07-2019

Coffel Vending Sued by EEOC for Race Discrimination 

Vending Servicer Denied Job to Black Applicant, Federal Agency Charges

SOUTH BEND, IND - A northern Indiana vending and coffee service provider rejected a black applicant for an open position because of his race according to a lawsuit filed on August 07, 2019 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Coffel Vending in Mishawaka, Indiana favored Caucasian applicants for Vending Service Representative positions at the company and refused to hire a Black applicant with many years of experience because of his race.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race. The EEOC asserts that the company's actions were intentional and demonstrated a reckless indifference to the qualified black applicant's federally protected rights.

The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 3:19-596 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through the agency's administrative conciliation process. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and other relief against Coffel, including a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in future race discrimination in hiring.

"An applicant's race should not be a factor in an employer's hiring decisions," said Michelle Eisele, District Director for the EEOC's Indianapolis District Office "The EEOC will not turn a blind eye to an employer who disregards federal protections designed to eradicate barriers to lawful employment by minorities," said Kenneth L. Bird, Indianapolis District Office Regional Attorney.

The Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC oversees Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.

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.