Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Temp worker's racial discrimination claims settled against staffing agency; remain against steel company

By Ann Maher | Jun 27, 2016

Racial discrimination claims against a temporary staffing company have been dismissed with prejudice, but they remain against The Steel Works of Granite City.

Michael Starnes, an African American, filed suit in 2014, claiming he was subjected to racial harassment on the job and was passed over for certain jobs that were steered to less qualified white men.

His claims against Employer Solutions Staffing Group were settled last week with the company's offer of a "monetary sum" and certain "non-monetary conditions."

Settlement terms were not disclosed in the order signed by Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder on June 24.

The agency was represented by Goli Rahimi of Gordon and Rees in Chicago.

The Steel Works, represented by Patrick Chassaing of St. Louis, denies liability. The company claims that Starnes had failed to properly exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit.

Starnes' suit has asked the court to declare the companies' actions to be illegal and to award him lost wages, benefits and other compensation, compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, punitive damages in excess of $50,000, court costs and any other award the court deems proper.

Starnes is represented by attorney Lee W. Barron of Alton.

The case is set on Crowder's June 29 docket.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 14-L-1041.

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