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Press Release 01-10-2020

Jacksonville Plumbers Training Trust to Revise Apprentice Selection Process to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

 Program Discriminated Against Black Applicants in Its Hiring Process, Federal Agency Charged

JACKSONVILLE - Jacksonville Plumbers and Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust (JPPJATT), which sponsors an apprenticeship program that trains participants to work in the plumb­ing and pipefitting industries in Northern Florida, will revise its selection process, pay $207,500 and provide other significant equitable relief to settle a class race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC's lawsuit sought relief for applicants who the EEOC alleged were denied apprentice­ship positions because they were black. 

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 3:18-cv-862-J-32JRK) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $207,500 in monetary relief to black applicants denied apprenticeship positions, the four-year consent decree settling the suit provides for extensive injunctive relief to help secure a diverse workforce. JPPJATT will hire a consultant to review and revise its selection process and implement and train employees in the new process. The decree also enjoins JPPJATT from dis­criminating against black applicants on the basis of race in the future and requires the company to hold information sessions at locations in the black community.

"The JPPJATT apprenticeship program is a gateway to union membership and access to a valuable career path in the Jacksonville area," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District. "The EEOC commends the Trust for its openness to resolving this matter in a way that will give more qualified black applicants access to these opportunities."

The EEOC's Tampa Field Office Director, Evangeline Hawthorne, added, "JPPJATT has agreed to robust equitable relief in this case, which will ensure that applicants do not face this sort of discrim­ination in the future."

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.