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New York Staffing Company Agrees to $550,000 Settlement with the EEOC

Staffing Solutions of WNY Inc. has agreed to settle an employment discrimination case brought against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC alleged Staffing Solutions and its owner Kathleen Faulhaber screened job applicants based on race, sex, age, disability, and pregnancy. Faulhaber and her company purportedly complied with employers' race and sex preferences by placing employees in positions based on that criteria, refusing to hire qualified Black applicants, or placing Black applicants in the least desirable positions. In addition, the EEOC alleged the company rejected individuals older than 50. The company allegedly asked potential employees about injuries and medical conditions in violation of the law and then rejected those employees if the company considered them disabled. Lastly, the complaint stated Staffing Solutions rejected pregnant applicants.

In announcing the settlement, the EEOC stated, “The law is clear that complying with a client’s discriminatory request is illegal. Staffing companies cannot prioritize clients’ discriminatory preferences over following the law.” A former office manager initiated the charge at the EEOC. She outlined her claims that the company engaged in illegal hiring practices, saying the company warned her she would be fired if she failed to comply with their screening practices. The office manager resigned. The EEOC said other individuals had come forward to support the allegations.

For her part, Faulhaber said the discrimination charges had distracted the company for more than five years. She referred to the lawsuit as an "abuse of the EEOC's powers" and a "waste of government money." She asserted that 77% of the company's hiring has been Black and Hispanic workers. Under the terms of the settlement, $475,000 will be disbursed over three years to applicants and employees allegedly subjected to discriminatory practices. The company must use the remaining amount to hire an independent monitor to review its hiring and placement decisions. The company must also undergo anti-discrimination training and investigate any other complaints of discrimination. Lastly, Faulhaber must send a letter to all of the company’s clients committing to comply with federal laws prohibiting discrimination.