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Press Release 09-13-2023

EEOC Sues TCI of Alabama for Retaliation

Alabama Recycler Fired an Employee for Telling the Truth About Its Discriminatory Hiring Practices, Federal Agency Charges

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Delaware-based TCI of Alabama, LLC, a recycler of large items such as transformers and electrical equipment which operates a single plant located in Pell City, Alabama, violated federal law by firing an employee for participating in an internal investigation of alleged sex discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, after a female job applicant filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, TCI interviewed a long-time management employee about its hiring practices. The manager told the company’s investigator that TCI had a practice of not hiring female laborers, which dated back to the company’s inception in 2007. The EEOC alleges that after the manager told the truth about TCI’s discriminatory policy, TCI’s president repeatedly pressured him to “change his story.” When the manager refused to do so, TCI terminated him.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee because he or she has opposed any practice made illegal by Title VII or for participating in any investigation into an EEOC charge filed under Title VII. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. TCI of Alabama, LLC., Case No. 4:23-cv-01200-CLM) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama after its Birmingham District office completed an investigation and first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages for the terminated employee, including compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief to prevent such unlawful conduct in the future.

“Title VII protects all employees including management who exercise their rights to oppose discriminatory hiring practices,” said EEOC Birmingham District Director Bradley Anderson. “This includes protection for employees who participate in a company’s internal investigation into allegations of discrimination.”

Marsha Rucker, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Birmingham District, said, “It is illegal under Title VII to punish an employee for telling the truth about witnessing discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC will aggressively pursue remedies for individuals whose employers retaliate against them for exercising their rights under federal law.”

For more information on retaliation, please visit

The EEOC’s Birmingham District consists of Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle.

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.