German-based DHL Worldwide faces charges it effectively segregated its workforce by assigning black drivers to routes in black neighborhoods, and white drivers to routes in white neighborhoods. The EEOC has filed suit in federal court based on more than 20 discrimination complaints filed by black delivery drivers.
The charges allege that DHL assigned routes by race rather than qualification, seniority or other methods that are “colorblind.” The EEOC asserts that by doing so, DHL discriminated against black drivers, assigning them more difficult and dangerous work. Attempts to settle the dispute prior to litigation failed.
Note: Even well-intentioned assignments based on race violate the Civil Rights Act. Employers should assign duties based on business-related—not race-related—criteria.