Malvern-based Vanguard Group has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle an EEOC race discrimination case with Raymond Ross, a former information systems manager. Ross joined Vanguard in 1993 and was promoted steadily. In 2002, Vanguard transferred him to a new department.
Around that time, Ross began to complain that he was receiving inadequate work assignments because he is black. When he complained, the lawsuit alleged, Vanguard did not address his concerns. Instead, his work was subjected to more scrutiny, and his performance ratings fell.
In 2003, Ross filed two EEOC complaints. Vanguard fired him one day after the company received news of his second complaint.
In the consent decree, Vanguard did not admit guilt, but agreed to provide anti-discrimination training and establish procedures for handling complaints.
Note: Timing is one of the major factors courts consider when deciding retaliation claims. Firing someone within days of a discrimination complaint—even if you have documented, legitimate business reasons for doing so—is an almost insurmountable legal mistake.
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