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Carma Henry

Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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BMW to pay $1.6 million; plus offer jobs to settle federal race discrimination suit ( — The U.S. District Court for the Dis-trict of South Carolina today entered a consent decree order-ing BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC (BMW) to pay $1.6 million and provide job opportunities to alleged victims of race dis-crimination as part of the re-solution of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Op-portunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit, filed by EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, alleged that BMW excluded African-A-merican logistics workers from employment at a dispropor-tionate rate when the com-pany’s new logistics contractor applied BMW’s criminal con-viction records guidelines to in-cumbent logistics employees. More specifically, the com-plaint alleged that when BMW switched contractors handling the company’s logistics at its production facility in Spar-tanburg, S.C., in the summer of 2008, it required the new contractor to perform a criminal background screen on all ex-isting logistics employees who re-applied to continue working in their positions at BMW. At that time, BMW’s criminal con-viction records guidelines ex-cluded from employment all persons with convictions in cer-tain categories of crime, regard-less of how long ago the em-ployee had been convicted or whether the conviction was for a misdemeanor or felony. According to the complaint, after the criminal background checks were performed, BMW learned that approximately 100 incumbent logistics workers at the facility, including employees who had worked at there for several years, did not pass the screen. EEOC alleged that 80 percent of the incumbent work-ers disqualified from employ-ment as a result of applying BMW’s guidelines were black. Following an investigation, EEOC filed suit alleging that Blacks were disproportionately disqualified from employment as a result of the criminal con-viction records guidelines. EEOC sought relief for 56 Afri-can-Americans who were dis-charged. BMW has since vo-luntarily changed its guide-lines. BMW will pay a total of $1.6 million to resolve the litigation and two pending charges re-lated to the company’s previous criminal conviction records guidelines that had been filed with EEOC. In addition to monetary relief, BMW will offer employment opportunities to the discharged workers in the suit and up to 90 African-Ameri-can applicants who BMW’s con-tractor refused to hire based on BMW’s previous conviction re-cords guidelines. BMW also will provide training on using crim-inal history screening in a man-ner consistent with Title VII. Additionally, BMW will be sub-ject to reporting and monitor-ing requirements for the term of the consent decree. “EEOC has been clear that while a company may choose to use criminal history as a screen-ing device in employment, Title VII requires that when a crimi-nal background screen results in the disproportionate exclu-sion of African-Americans from job opportunities, the employer must evaluate whether the policy is job related and consis-tent with a business necessity,” said P. David Lopez, EEOC’s General Counsel. “We are pleased with BMW’s agreement to resolve this dis-puted matter by providing both monetary relief and employ-ment opportunities to the logistic workers who lost their jobs at the facility,” said Lynette Barnes, regional attorney for the Charlotte District Office. “We commend BMW for re-eval-uating its criminal conviction records guidelines that resulted in the discharge of these work-ers.”

BMW to pay $1.6 million; plus offer jobs to settle federal race discrimination suit ...

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