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Press Release 08-15-2023

EEOC Sues Barrett Distribution and Supreme Staffing for Retaliation

Federal Agency Charges That the Two Companies Punished Employee After He Complained About National Origin Discrimination

MEMPHIS – Barrett Distribution Center and Supreme Staffing LLC, operating as joint employers, violated federal civil rights law when they retaliated against an employee after he complained that Barrett discriminated against applicants and workers based on their national origin (Hispanic), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Supreme, a staffing agency, and Barrett, one of Supreme’s clients and one of the worksites where Supreme workers performed work, retaliated against a former account supervisor when they removed the employee from Barrett’s worksite after he complained about Barrett’s treatment of Hispanic persons at the Barrett site. The EEOC also alleges that Barrett and Supreme further retaliated against the employee when they fired him less than two months later.     

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC sued in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, Civil Action No. 2:23-cv-02507 after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the terminated employee as well as an injunction against future discrimination.               

“Employees must have the freedom to report unlawful behavior without fear of repercussion,” said Edmond Sims, acting district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi. “This is particularly important in Memphis, where staffing agencies and their client companies comprise a significant portion of the workforce. We hope that this litigation places employers on notice that retaliation against employees will not be tolerated.”     

According to company information, Barrett is a warehousing, distribution and trans­portation company that operates 24+ facilities across North America, including in Boston, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Memphis, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Supreme, headquartered in Memphis, operates offices in Georgia, Nevada, Louisiana, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

For more information on national origin discrimination, please visit For more information on retaliation, please visit

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