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Press Release 07-09-2019

Steamfitters Local No. 475 Settles EEOC Recordkeeping Suit

Local Union Failed to Keep Race  and Gender Data or File EEO-3 Reports, Federal Agency Charged

NEW YORK -  Steamfitters, Pipefitters, and Apprentices Local Union No. 475 will change its  recordkeeping practices relating to its members and apprentices to settle a  lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the  federal agency announced today.

According to  the EEOC's lawsuit, Local 475 failed to file EEO reports and to collect the  related demographic information required by federal law. Federal regulations  require that labor unions with at least 100 members file a biennial report with  the EEOC, known as a Local Union Report EEO-3 (or EEO-3 report for short), to  provide information about the union's referral practices. The law also requires  that such labor unions keep a record of the race, ethnicity and gender of their  members, apprentices and persons referred for employment, as needed to complete  the EEO-3 report. Failure to make and keep such records and reports violates  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Such records help the EEOC detect  disparities in employment referrals that may violate Title VII's prohibitions  against discrimination in employment because of race, sex, and national origin.

The EEOC  filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (EEOC v. Steamfitters, Pipefitters, and  Apprentices Local Union No. 475., Civil Action No. 2:19-13309), after  first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process. 

"Local  unions and labor organizations with at least 100 members should be aware that  there are reporting and recordkeeping requirements that apply to them, which  help us assess disparities in re­ferrals based on race, national origin or sex," said EEOC New York District director Kevin Berry.

The consent  decree requires that Local 475 comply with its recordkeeping and reporting  obligations. Local 475 will collect and maintain information about the race,  ethnicity, and sex of its members, apprentices, and persons referred, and will  prepare and timely file EEO-3 reports. During the decree's three-year term,  Local 475 will provide periodic reports to the EEOC and, if requested by the  agency, copies of referral records. Local 475 will also provide  anti-discrimination training annually to all officers, agents and employees  involved in administering the union's referral program.

"The  recordkeeping and reporting requirements for employers and labor unions play an  important role in enforcing our country's civil rights laws and ensuring equal opportunity in the workplace,"  said Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein of the New York District Office. "We  appreciate Local 475's willingness to negotiate a voluntary resolution to this  case without protracted litigation."

The New York District Office of the  EEOC is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative  enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in New York, northern New Jersey,  Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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.