Lawsuit opened against national staffing company after alleged discrimination

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A lawsuit has been opened on behalf of an Oklahoma woman after a national manufacturing specialty staffing company allegedly discriminated against her German birthplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office in St. Louis says in a recently filed lawsuit that ResourceMFG - a national manufacturing specialty staffing company - violated federal law when it failed to refer an Oklahoma applicant for employment because she was born in Germany.

According to EEOC’s suit, Anke Hicks - a German-born naturalized U.S. citizen - interviewed with a ResourceMFG recruiter in February 2020 and was offered a position at XPO Logistics - a federal contractor - which required U.S. citizenship.

EEOC noted that ResourceMFG told Hicks that in order to complete the hiring process, she was required to present a U.S. birth certificate. She explained that she did not have a U.S. birth certificate but could provide her citizenship documents.

EEOC said ResourceMFG terminated the onboarding process and told Hicks that she could not be hired due to her German birthplace.

“Citizenship requirements are permitted only where required by law, regulation, or government contract,” said Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District office. “But staffing companies providing workers to government contractors cannot add additional requirements, such as U.S. birth, to their selection process.”

The Commission said national origin discrimination - which happens when an employer treats applicants or employees differently because they are from a particular country or part of the world, or because of their ethnicity or accent - violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“As a nation of immigrants, we embrace those who choose to go through the strenuous process to become U.S. citizens. Title VII prohibits discrimination against those individuals because they were born elsewhere,” David Davis, acting director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office said.

EEOC said it filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma after it first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement via a conciliation process. It said it seeking backpay, compensatory, and punitive damages for Hicks - as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.

For more information about national origin discrimination, click HERE.

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