Staffing Agency and Its Client Deny Employment Opportunities to Black Workers, Federal Agency Charges
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Aaron Thomas Company, Inc., a distribution company, and Supreme Staffing, LLC, a staffing agency, both based in Memphis, violated federal law by denying individuals employment on the bases of race, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a suit filed this week.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, since at least January 2018, Aaron Thomas and Supreme Staffing failed to refer and hire Black applicants for low-skill positions. The EEOC further alleged that Aaron Thomas requested only Hispanic applicants for certain job positions and Supreme Staffing acquiesced by referring and hiring applicants based solely on unlawful hiring criteria. Supreme Staffing and Aaron Thomas segregated and assigned Black employees to less desirable and lower-paying positions and terminated Black employees because of their race, the EEOC said.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC sued in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, Civil Action No. 2:23-cv-02599, after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for Black employees and Black applicants, as well as an injunction against future discrimination. The EEOC filed this lawsuit as a related case to EEOC v. Supreme Staffing, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 2:22-cv-02668, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division.
“Memphis is known as America’s distribution center and is home to more than 100 warehouse logistics services,” said Edmond Sims, acting director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “Staffing agencies and their clients often work hand in hand in hiring employees, and both have a duty to ensure that their hiring practices are not discriminatory. The EEOC remains committed to ensuring that all applicants, regardless of race, have equal opportunity in the workplace.”
For more information on race discrimination visit www.eeoc.gov/racecolor-discrimination.
The EEOC’s Memphis District Office has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.