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Firm agrees to fine for race bias in hiring


An automotive re-delivery service firm that operates out of the Newark, New Jersey, port area has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission race discrimination charges.

The agency said its lawsuit charged Newark-based FAPS Inc. with discriminating against African-Americans in recruitment and hiring by relying on word-of-mouth recruiting that deterred them from applying; refusing to hire qualified African-American applicants; and falsely telling black applicants no positions were available when in fact the firm was hiring, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to monetary relief to be distributed to rejected African-American applicants, under terms of a five-year consent decree the company will make good faith efforts to meet designated hiring goals for African-Americans, among other provisions, the EEOC said.

“Employers must fully understand that racial bias and stereotypes cannot corrupt recruitment and hiring decisions,” said EEOC New York District Director Kevin Berry in a statement. “The law requires that black job applicants be afforded the same job opportunities that are granted to everyone else.”

George G. Frino, a partner with DeCotis, FitzPatrick & Cole L.L.P. in Teaneck, New Jersey, who represented FAPS, said, “The client’s just pleased that it’s behind them.”

Mr. Frino said, “It was a long, torturous litigation that involved a lot of fascinating issues, but the principle problem is that the intersection between labor unions and the waterfront commission make it exceedingly difficult to diversify a work force, and that’s the practical and legal problem in the case.”