Skip top navigation Skip to content

Print   Email  Share

PRESS RELEASE
6-17-10

EEOC Sues FAPS, Inc. For Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Automotive Port Processing Company Fails to Hire African-Americans and  Asks Improper Medical Questions on Applications, Federal Agency Charges

NEWARK, N.J. -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC) filed a workplace discrimination suit today against FAPS,  Inc., an automotive port processor, charging that the company has engaged in an  ongoing pattern or practice of race discrimination against African-Americans in  recruitment and hiring. The suit also  charges that FAPS has made improper pre-employment disability-related  inquiries of applicants. Both these  alleged practices violate federal law.

According  to the EEOC’s suit, EEOC v. FAPS, Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, FAPS has  had, and continues to have, a statistically significant smaller percentage of black  employees in entry-level positions than would be expected given the relevant  labor market in the area where FAPS is located.  FAPS maintains more than 250 acres and 575,000 square feet of under-roof  processing at its terminal complex which adjoins Port Newark, Port Elizabeth and a freight rail terminal.

The EEOC  contends that instead of advertising job openings, FAPS has almost exclusively  utilized word-of-mouth recruiting for its hiring of employees for entry-level  positions, which has resulted in a statistically significantly smaller  percentage of black applicants for those jobs.  In addition, FAPS refused to hire qualified African-American applicants who  did apply for entry-level positions because of their race, instead hiring less  qualified or similarly qualified non-black applicants for such positions. FAPS, Inc. falsely told black applicants that  no such positions were available when, in fact, the defendant was hiring non-black  applicants for such positions. In  addition, FAPS, Inc. unlawfully included disability-related questions on job  applications, the suit charges.

Race  discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) places  strict limits on employers’ ability to make disability-related inquiries or  examinations. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to  reach a voluntary settlement. The agency  seeks injunctive relief to end the discriminatory practices, plus back pay and  compensatory and punitive damages to compensate African-American applicants  who were not hired or who were deterred from applying for jobs due to their  race.

“The unfortunate  reality is that African-Americans continue to face unlawful discrimination when  seeking employment,” said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., director of the EEOC’s New  York District Office. “Employers who  fail to effectively address race-based discrimination in their recruitment and  hiring practices risk becoming the subject of enforcement actions like the  lawsuit we filed today.”

“The ADA  prohibits an employer from asking disability-related questions of job  applicants before a job offer is made because job applicants have the right to  be judged on their ability to do the work, and not on prejudice about their  mental or physical disabilities,” said Rosemary DiSavino, the EEOC trial  attorney who will be litigating this case. “This lawsuit should teach employers to review  their application forms and remove illegal questions.”

According  to its website, FAPS, Inc. receives shipments of and prepares newly  manufactured motor vehicles, mostly automobiles built outside the United States, for  sale by domestic dealerships. FAPS’s services  include pre-delivery inspections, accessorization, body repair, paint  refinishing, testing to make sure motor vehicles meet U.S. safety and  other requirements, and fleet reconditioning.  FAPS also prepares, for shipment overseas, motor vehicles manufactured  in the United States by U.S. companies,  and restores and customizes motor vehicles.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment  discrimination. Further information is  available at www.eeoc.gov.