Staffing Agency Pays $550,000 to Settle Discrimination Claims
On October 3, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a settlement in an expansive employment discrimination lawsuit filed in 2018 against Buffalo, NY-area staffing agency, Staffing Solutions of WNY Inc. The lawsuit describes a pattern of shocking, discriminatory conduct by the CEO.
According to the company website, Staffing Solutions places workers seeking temporary, part-time, or full-time “employment in industrial, warehouse, shipping and receiving, and clerical positions.”
While Staffing Solutions does not place IT and engineering solutions professionals, the case reminds all staffing firms to have clear, effective anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policies and channels to report violations. Staffing firms cannot discriminate against their own employees nor comply with discriminatory hiring requests from clients.
HR Drive, “EEOC: Staffing Firms Cannot Acquiesce to Discriminatory Hiring Requests,” 10/13/2022
The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that Staffing Solutions engaged in multiple hiring practices that violated “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibit discrimination based on age, disability, race or sex, as well as retaliation.” According to the EEOC press release, Staffing Solutions discriminatory practices included complying with clients’ race and sex preferences; refusing to hire highly qualified Black applicants or placing them in lowest paying, least desirable jobs; rejecting pregnant and over 50 applicants; and asking applicants about medical conditions and using that information not to hire them. They also allegedly retaliated against their own office manager, who complained about the practices.
In addition to the financial settlement, Staffing Solutions must pay for and work with an independent monitor to oversee the implementation of the consent decree. Staffing Solutions’ website includes this notice of the lawsuit and settlement shown below, and currently, no job openings are posted.
Several federal agencies—including DOJ, DOL, FTC, and EEOC—are actively enforcing laws that protect workers from discrimination, wage collusion, and more. This case, which is particularly egregious, is one of several EEOC recent settlements or lawsuits filed against staffing firms.