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Caught on tape: Bias evidence against 2 firms

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Nationwide staffing company Administaff has agreed to settle an EEOC religious discrimination lawsuit stemming from an ugly series of incidents that occurred at one of Florida-based cable-TV company Conn-X’s facilities. The allegations created a perfect storm of co-employer liability: video technology plus employee thuggery added up to evidence that practically begged for an out-of-court settlement.

Brothers Scott and Joey Jacobson, both Administaff employees assigned to a Conn-X facility in Maryland, claimed that co-workers continually harassed them because of their Jewish faith. Co-workers allegedly spray-painted a swastika on Scott Jacobson’s vehicle and once forced him into a trash bin. That incident was caught on camera and replayed for workers as the “throw the Jew in the Dumpster” tape.

The brothers allegedly endured several years of being called “dumb Jews” or “dirty Jews.”

Under the settlement the brothers will receive $115,000. Administaff, which ended its relationship with Conn-X after learning of the allegations, will train its personnel about religious discrimination and must report any similar complaints to the EEOC. The brothers’ case against Conn-X remains open.

Note: This case is an example of the complexities that arise when an organization leases workers through a staffing provider. Under terms of Conn-X’s contract with Administaff, the two firms acted as co-employers. That meant both companies assumed many employer liabilities.

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