PBM Graphics to Pay $334,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit

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Printing Company Provided Fewer Work Hours to Non-Hispanic Temporary Workers

RALEIGH, N.C. -- PBM Graphics, Inc., a Research Triangle  Park, N.C., printing company, will pay $334,000 to settle a national origin  discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.   The EEOC had charged that PBM violated federal law by refusing to place  and/or assign non-Hispanic workers to its "core group" of regular temporary  workers. 

According to the EEOC's lawsuit (Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission  v. PBM Graphics,  Inc., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Civil  Action No. 1:11-CV-00805), PBM routinely used temporary workers for its  production needs.  The EEOC's com­plaint  charged that PBM engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimin­ation against  non-Hispanic temporary workers who worked in its light bindery production  jobs.  Specifically, the EEOC said, from  at least Jan. 1, 2003, to the present, PBM developed a "core group" of regular  temporary workers.  The temp­orary workers in the "core group"  were told by the company to continue to come to work for PBM unless otherwise  notified, unlike other temporary workers who worked for PBM only on an "as  needed" basis.  The EEOC alleged that  approximately 50-75 persons were assigned to this core group, and that  membership in the core group was disproportionately Hispanic, to the exclusion  of similarly qualified non-Latino temporary workers.  

The suit further charged that PBM assigned a  disproportionately greater number of work hours to Hispanic temporary workers  than to similarly qualified non-Latino temporary workers, thereby denying non-Hispanic temporary  workers hours of work based on their non-Hispanic national origin. 

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights  Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit after  first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process. 

In addition to the monetary  damages, the settlement requires PBM to provide annual training to all its  managers and supervisors at PBM's Research Triangle Park facility on Title VII  and its pro­hibition against national origin discrimination in the  workplace.  PBM must also post an  employee notice concerning the lawsuit and employee rights under federal  anti-discrimination laws, as well as provide periodic reports to the EEOC. 

"We hope this lawsuit reminds employers that they cannot  discriminate on the basis of national origin, regardless of the national origin  of the perpetrators, victims or beneficiaries of the discrimin­ation," said  Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office,  which includes the EEOC's Raleigh Area Office, where the charge was filed.  "Employers must also re­member that they are  responsible for temporary employees in their workplaces and must assign hours  to them without regard to their national origin."  Tina Burnside, supervisory trial attorney for the EEOC's  Charlotte District Office, added, "Title VII requires employers to provide  equal employment opportunities to all workers including temporary workers, and  employers cannot discriminate against temporary employees in job assign­ments  or other terms and conditions of employment."

PBM Graphics is a  full-service printing and graphics communications company which employs almost  600 full-time employees as well as numerous temporary workers.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the  federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment.  Further information about the EEOC is  available at its website at www.eeoc.gov.