Newark car-prep giant faces discrimination, ADA charges

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

The EEOC has sued Newark- and Port Elizabeth-based automotive processor FAPS Inc., for race and disability discrimination. The suit charges the company with engaging in a “pattern and practice” that discriminates against black applicants and asking job-application questions that violate the ADA.

According to the complaint, FAPS employs fewer black employees in entry-level positions than would be expected given the demographics of the Newark area.

FAPS maintains a 250-acre facility adjacent to Port Newark, Port Elizabeth and a freight rail terminal. The company receives cars built overseas by more than 20 manufacturers and prepares them for delivery to U.S. dealerships. The company’s vehicle prep operation is one of the largest such facilities in the world.

FAPS (the initials stand for “Foreign Auto Preparation Service”) also preps U.S.-built cars for shipment to other countries.

The EEOC alleges that FAPS turned away qualified black applicants in favor of less qualified job-seekers of other races. In one case, a black applicant was allegedly told there were no openings when, in fact, there were.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to end the discriminatory practices, plus back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for black applicants who were not hired or who were deterred from applying for jobs because of their race.

Advice: Establish fair, consistent, nondiscriminatory hiring practices and enforce them in-house before government agencies get involved. Also note that you’re not allowed to ask medical questions before making a conditional job offer. That violates the ADA. Examine your job applications and remove all medical questions.

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