EEOC files discrimination suit against Washington Park business

Ann Knef Apr. 2, 2008, 4:17am

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Washington Park business for subjecting an African American worker to less favorable working conditions than white employees.

According to a suit filed in federal court in East St. Louis March 31, Material Resources LLC, doing business as Gateway Co-Packing Co., provided a pay increase and health insurance to Charles Franklin only after the company received notice of his race discrimination charge.

The suit alleges that Franklin's conditions of employment were less favorable than similarly situated white employees.

Franklin was discharged a month after Gateway Co-Packing was notified of his charge "in retaliation for his engaging in the statutorily protected activity of filing a charge of race discrimination against Defendant," the complaint states.

The EEOC is seeking for Franklin back pay with interest, pecuniary damages, punitive damages, as well as an injunction to enjoin the company from racially discriminating or retaliating against employees who engage in statutorily protected activity.

Gateway Co-Packing allegedly failed to provide Franklin a pay increase or health insurance after he had completed a six-month probationary period in December 2005. The company received notice of Franklin's charge in April 2006, and he was terminated in May 2006, the complaint states.

EEOC is represented by its general counsel Ronald S. Cooper and others from the St. Louis office.

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