On April 9, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that a Los Angeles, California-based staffing company will pay $2.2 million to settle a hiring discrimination lawsuit. Notably, the company’s discriminatory practices were against a staggeringly wide range of federally-protected classes. This included race, sex, age, disability, and pregnancy status discrimination. Comparatively, in recent years, the EEOC has ramped up its enforcement efforts. In November 2023, the agency released its Fiscal Year 2023 Agency Financial Report, announcing that systemic discrimination charges had doubled.

Background of the Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, since 2015, the staffing company has failed to recruit and refer workers for low-skill positions based on race and national origin. Additionally, the EEOC claimed that the company illegally steered candidates to certain positions based on their sex. Finally, the lawsuit stated that individuals with disabilities and perceived disabilities were screened out. Consequently, this practice led to the hiring and referring of only supposedly physically fit candidates with no injury history. Explicitly, such alleged conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. The law makes it clear that it is unlawful for an employer to:

  • fail or refuse to hire an applicant,
  • discharge any employee, or
  • otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to their compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

In addition, the law requires employers to reasonably try to prevent and correct the behavior. Finally, Title VII protects employees who object to discrimination from retaliation or any adverse employment action against an employee exercising their rights.

Penalties in the Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit

In EEOC v. Radiant Services Corp., BaronHR, LLC, et al., the EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Markedly, the consent decree settling the hiring discrimination lawsuit prohibits future discrimination in recruitment and hiring practices. Furthermore, monetary relief of $2.2 million is to be distributed through a claims process. Additionally, the decree includes injunctive remedies requiring the staffing agency to change its employment practices to prevent future discriminatory hiring. Such remedies include:

  • hiring a third-party monitor,
  • significant training and robust reporting mechanisms to ensure applicants and employees can report discrimination, and
  • updating the company’s anti-discrimination policies to prohibit discrimination in hiring.

During court proceedings, the staffing company said it was ending its business operations. By and large, if the agency reopens, the decree requires it to implement the injunctive remedies.