Williams Sausage sued by EEOC
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:12 pm
MEMPHIS — A Wood-land Mills pork company violated federal law when it engaged in race discrimination by paying an African-American maintenance worker less than others and subjecting him to a hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit.
The EEOC also charged Williams Country Sausage forced him out of his job.
The EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-01263, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Eastern Division, asserted that Williams Sausage violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it 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. The EEOC also alleges that the man had to quit his job to escape the abuse.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement and an injunction against future discrimination.
“Sadly, race discrimination continues to exist in the workplace where workers are paid less and subjected to harassment. Addressing such conduct remains a priority for the commission,” said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi.
Roger Williams, president of Williams Sausage Co., told The Messenger the company’s attorney has advised him not to comment on the specific claims by the EEOC due to the pending litigation in the matter.
“But Williams Sausage values all of our employees and we do not feel we have engaged in discriminatory practices,” he said.
Williams Country Saus-age processes meat and produces breakfast pork sausage products and sausage biscuit sandwiches for retail.
Published in The Messenger 10.05.10