Concrete Company Refused to Consider Older Asian Worker for Sales Job and Punished Him for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges
MEMPHIS – The Memphis unit of a Houston-based concrete supplier violated federal law by refusing to place a worker into a sales job because of his national origin, Asian, and age, subjecting him to harassment and retaliating against him for opposing that unlawful conduct, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 2:09-cv-02208, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis, City Concrete failed to placed David Piyavunno into a sales position because of his age and national origin, Asian. A young white male was offered the sales position instead of Piyavunno. The EEOC said company officials wanted a young work force and believed that customers would not want to do business with an Asian. Company officials also allowed its managers to subject Piyavunno to harassment. Further, the EEOC said the company failed to properly investigate the complaint about this misconduct, and after Piyavunno complained, he was forced to quit.
This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment decisions and harassment based on national origin and retaliation against those who complain about it. The alleged conduct also violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction prohibiting such discrimination in the future, and to order City Concrete to pay David Piyavunno any salary he lost as a result of the discrimination, interest on the lost pay, compensatory damages for emotional and psychological harm, and any other damages.
“In this case, the company officials refused to give Mr. Piyavunno an opportunity because of his national origin and allowed others to harass him because of it,” said Katharine Kores, the EEOC’s Memphis district director. “Then the company made the situation worse by punishing him when he complained and filed an EEOC charge. All of this is unlawful under federal law, and the EEOC takes a special interest in incidents where the company retaliates against a discrimination victim.”
City Concrete, the Memphis business unit of U.S. Concrete, based in Houston, Texas, is a supplier of ready-mixed concrete and concrete products. The Memphis unit employs approximately 168 people.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on April 9, 2009.
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