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PRESS RELEASE
11-17-11

Koper Furniture To Pay $40,000 To Settle Retaliation Suit By EEOC

Employee Fired for Complaining About Color Discrimination, EEOC Charged

SAN JUAN, P.R. -- Koper Furniture,  Inc., a furniture company operating in several locations in Puerto Rico, will  pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a charge of retaliation at a  worksite in San Juan, resolving an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced  today.

According to the lawsuit (EEOC v. Koper Furniture, Inc., Case No.  09-1563(JAG)), Jose L. Guadalupe, a dark-skinned Puerto Rican man, was fired in  retaliation for complaining to the company about harassment by his supervisor  because of his dark skin color.

The consent decree settling the  suit was approved on Nov. 7 by U.S. District Court Judge Jay A. Garcia-Gregory.  It prohibits Koper Furniture from  further retaliating against employees who complain about discrimination. Additionally, the consent decree requires  that Koper Furniture amend its current anti-discrimination policy to conform to  EEOC policy and to provide four hours of anti-discrimination training to all  Koper employees, including management personnel, on a biannual basis.

“We are delighted that this resolution addresses the systemic problems at  this workplace that facilitated the discriminatory misconduct,” EEOC Miami  District Director Malcolm S. Medley said.  “This consent decree benefits all Koper employees.”

Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg of the EEOC’s Miami District Office  said, “This consent decree serves to remind employers that the EEOC is vigilant  in ensuring that people who engage in legally protected activity – such as  standing up to discrimination – are not fired in retaliation.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is  available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.