A now-defunct North Carolina trucking company has been ordered to pay $120,000 for refusing to hire black loading dock workers, according to a settlement agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Caldwell Freight Lines Inc., which had been based in Lenoir, N.C., hired 38 white dock workers at its Newton, N.C., facility in April 2011, purposefully overlooking six equally qualified African-American applicants for the positions on the basis of their race, the EEOC alleged in its September 2011 lawsuit against the company.
The suit accused at least one former Caldwell executive—who was not named in court documents—of stating that "he did not want blacks working on the company's dock" in April 2011, and that Caldwell did not have any black employees working on the Newton facility's loading dock around the time of the alleged discrimination.
According to court documents, Caldwell filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011.
According to the settlement, filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Statesville, Caldwell must pay a total of $120,000 to the six claimants. Should it resume operations, the company will be enjoined from continuing any discriminatory hiring practices as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"Unfortunately, race discrimination in hiring continues despite the passage of Title VII nearly 50 years ago, and African-Americans are often the victims," Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District office, said in a statement released on Friday. "The EEOC will continue to prosecute cases where the evidence indicates that any form of race discrimination has occurred. All races are entitled to equal opportunity in the workplace."