Schindler Elevator Corp. has agreed to settle an EEOC race discrimination lawsuit filed after it laid off a black elevator mechanic from its Charlotte office, even though he was rated higher than almost all his white co-workers who were retained.
The man’s supervisor claimed the 29-year veteran had worse technical and customer service skills than his white counterparts.
However, objective measures of the employees’ skills didn’t back that assessment.
When conciliation efforts failed, the EEOC filed suit and the company agreed to settle the matter. Schindler Elevator will pay the mechanic $35,000, conduct anti-discrimination training at its Charlotte facility. It must also post a notice of the settlement in the workplace.
Note: Employers should develop objective measures to use when reductions in force are necessary. Schindler had no formal process for determining who would get furloughed, leaving the decision to a lone field supervisor.
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