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PRESS RELEASE
5-10-12

Central Freight Lines, Inc. Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC

Company To Pay $400,000 to Eight Fired Dockworkers  Under 5 Year Consent Decree

DALLAS  – Central Freight Lines Inc. has agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit  brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for  $400,000.00 to be paid to eight former dockworkers, the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit  (Civil Action No. 3-10-cv-1954-K in U.S. District Court for the Northern  District of Texas, Dallas Division), Central Freight Lines, Inc. discriminated  against Ricky Curry, John Bean, Paul Elwell, Richard Harris, James Thurmond,  Keith Vessels, Purvis Carter and Reynaldo Tijerina by selecting them for  termination because of their age in an August 31, 2007, reduction in  force. The EEOC charged that the company  used a reduction-in-force as a ruse to fire eight dockworkers, some of whom had  worked at the company for 20 or more years and were approximately 50 years old  and older.

A consolidated suit filed by the  EEOC and the private parties alleged that workers were called names like  “grandpa,” “old farts” and “old bastards” by their supervisor, who also had  been tasked with preparing a list of the men to be terminated. According to the  EEOC, the company also changed its attendance and disciplinary policy so that  the men, who had not had more than a few disciplinary write-ups, were suddenly put  on corrective action and eligible for termination under the new policy.

The  company then replaced the older employees with younger hires.

Discriminating against an  individual because of his or her age violates The Age Discrimination in  Employment Act (“ADEA”) of 1967. The  EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. On the first day of a scheduled eight-day  trial, the attorneys for the parties reached agreement to settle the case by  Consent Decree filed with the Court and signed by U.S. District Court Judge Ed  Kinkeade on May 9, 2012.

In the Consent Decree, the company  agreed to pay $400,000 to the claimants and to train management and supervisory  personnel at the Central Freight Dallas and Ft.Worth Terminals on equal  employment opportunity policies and procedures.  The company will also commit to enforce a written policy against age  discrimination.

"It is an injustice to  terminate these loyal workers who gave so many years of their lives to Central  Freight," said William C. Backhaus, Senior Trial Attorney for the EEOC.  "Laying people off because of their age is a violation of federal  law."

“Central Freight treated these experienced  dockworkers like they were expendable,” said Suzanne M. Anderson, Supervisory  Trial Attorney. “This case shows that EEOC will remain vigilant in our  protection of older workers.”

“Reductions in force are  unfortunately not unusual in tough economic times, but a freight business  should realize that unloading more experienced older dockworkers while pushing  to hire younger ones is not the answer,” said Robert A. Canino, Regional  Attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District Office.  “The costs that can result from age discrimination can lead to yet a  heavier load to bear.”

Six of the dockworkers in the EEOC’s  suit--brought on behalf of the class of older workers-- were individually  represented by attorneys Claudine Jackson and April Robbins of the Brackett  & Ellis law firm in Ft. Worth.

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