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February 19, 2003
Suit over Promotions and Job Info Settled for $100K
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Griffin Pipe Products Company has agreed to pay $100,000 to Frank Loftin and a class of African-American employees to settle a discrimination lawsuit that alleged the firm didn't promote the employees to supervisory positions because of their race and didn’t make information about these positions available prior to promoting white employees, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Griffin Pipe, a subsidiary of Amstead Industries, Inc., denies that any violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act occurred, but agreed to the settlement.

The initial suit, filed on September 27, 2001, alleged that Loftin and other senior black employees had been seeking promotion to supervisory and other management positions for years to no avail. A pattern was alleged in which, even though such black employees were often the most senior workers in their departments and had years of successful performance of their jobs, they were bypassed in favor of whites.

Title VII makes it illegal to deny a person an employment opportunity because of his or her race, color, sex, religion or national origin. This includes the opportunity to have equal access to information about job vacancies as well as equal opportunity to be considered and selected for open jobs regardless of race.

The company's workforce at its Florence, N.J. facility will be trained in the employer's responsibilities under Title VII. Finally, the decree provides for a job analysis of each salaried position at the facility involving the supervision of union workers.

The job analysis will identify those job qualifications necessary to successful performance of the job. Assessment of job candidates will be based upon these qualifications by means of interview questions or written submissions keyed to actual job behaviors. Interviewers will be trained in the proper use of and scoring of answers to these questions. All union workers will be fully informed of the new assessment method.

"The commission hails the willingness of all persons involved in this matter to work thoroughly to craft a resolution to this lawsuit," says EEOC Regional Attorney Jacqueline McNair. "We are confident that the carefully thought out restructuring of the company's promotion process provided for in the decree will enable Griffin Pipe to meet its promise of offering truly equal opportunity to be promoted to salaried positions at the facility."


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