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EEOC: Railroad had two disciplinary tracks–one for whites, one for blacks

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

CSX, the Jacksonville-based freight railroad, faces racial discrimination charges after it disciplined a black train engineer and conductor working out of its Cincinnati yard.

According to an EEOC complaint, Edward Gay admitted to an operating violation and then requested leniency, something white engineer/conductors frequently did. The EEOC claims that white CSX employees who committed more serious violations were granted leniency and reinstated within 45 days.

Gay was out of work for two years until an arbitrator ordered CSX to reinstate him.

The EEOC claims the disparate treatment of black and white workers clearly violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The suit seeks back pay for Gay, compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

Advice: Racial, religious or gender bias can easily seep into your disciplinary processes if you’re not vigilant. Periodically review your disciplinary records to see if protected classes experience any worse punishment than others. That’s a sign that bias may be a problem in your organization.

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