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Press Release 05-20-2013

Stone Pony Pizza Sued for Race Discrimination

Company Refused to  Hire African-American Applicants, Federal Agency Charges

CLARKSDALE, Miss. - Stone  Pony Pizza, Inc., a Clarksdale pizza restaurant and bar, violated federal law  by refusing to hire a class of African-American applicants because of their  race, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday, May 17, 2013 by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC  claims Stone Pony Pizza refused to hire African-American  applicants as a class for certain positions because  of their race.  Stone Pony is alleged to  have hired only whites for front-of-the-house positions such as server,  hostess, waitress, and bartender, and hired African-Americans for  back-of-the-house positions such as cook and dishwasher. Additionally, the EEOC  charged that Stone Pony maintained a  racially segregated workforce and failed to keep job applications as required  by law.

The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No., 4:13-cv-00092, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of  Mississippi, Greenville Division, after first attempting to reach  a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The  suit was brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which  prohibits discrimination based on race and color.  The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of  back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, hiring relief and an injunction  against future discrimination.

 "Employers simply cannot  refuse to hire applicants based on their race, nor can they segregate employees  into certain positions based upon their race," said Katharine Kores, district  director of the

EEOC's Memphis  District Office.  "Applicants should be  evaluated based upon their qualifications, not the color of their skin."

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially  class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial,  ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with  disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's  Strategic Enforcement Plan.

 The Memphis District  Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, adminis­trative  enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Arkansas, Tennessee, and  portions of Mississippi.

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is  available on its website at