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PRESS RELEASE
8-11-11

Williams Country Sausage Company Settles EEOC Race Discrimination Suit For $60,000

Company Harassed and Underpaid a Black Maintenance Worker Because of Race, Federal Agency Charged

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A producer of pork sausage products located in Union City, Tenn.,  will pay $60,000 and furnish other relief to settle a wage discrimination and  racial harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its  lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Williams Country Sausage violated federal law by  paying an African-American maintenance worker less than white counterparts and  subjecting him to a hostile work environment.  The EEOC asserted that Williams Country Sausage gave raises and paid  higher salaries to all maintenance department employees except the department’s  lone African-American employee and allowed a supervisor to regularly use  racially offensive language toward the employee because of racial animus.

Racial  discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No.  1:10-CV-01263, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee,  Eastern Division after first attempting to settle the matter through its  conciliation process.

In addition to monetary relief, the five-year consent decree  settling the lawsuit enjoins Williams Country Sausage from further  discriminating against employees on the basis of race. The  decree requires annual training on employee rights under  Title VII and requires Williams Country Sausage to maintain records of racial  harassment complaints and provide annual reports to the EEOC. The decree also  requires Williams Country Sausage to establish and enforce a written policy  that will ensure that employees are protected from discrimination and post a  notice to all employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC’s contact  information.

“Sadly,  race discrimination continues to exist in the workplace where workers are paid  less and forced to endure a racially hostile work environment,” said Faye A.  Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has  jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. “It is a violation of federal law and the  EEOC will continue to forcefully fight against this type of misconduct.”

Williams  Country Sausage, a Tennessee corporation with  a production facility in Union City,  Tenn., processes meat and  produces breakfast pork sausage products and sausage biscuit sandwiches for  retail sale.

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