Great Lakes Chemical Corporation Settles EEOC Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

EL DORADO, Ark. – Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, a manufacturer and seller of chemical products in El Dorado, Ark., will pay $80,000 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging racial discrimination, the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 1:09-CV-01042) alleged that Great Lakes violated federal anti-discrimination law when it terminated several black employees because of their race. Specifically, the EEOC alleged that Great Lakes terminated black employees based upon discriminatory and subjective evaluations.

Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"The EEOC remains committed to promoting equality of opportunity in the workplace for members of all races. We believe the decree entered by the Court will ensure that African American employees are not singled out for discriminatory treatment,"said Regional Attorney Faye A. Williams of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and certain counties in Mississippi.

In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit enjoins Great Lakes from terminating employees in its El Dorado central location’s Inorganic Bromine (IOB) Unit on the basis of race. Great Lakes will also provide race and color discrimination training to all supervisory and management personnel in its IOB Unit and post a notice reinforcing the company’s policies on Title VII.

According to its website, Great Lakes is a business of Chemtura Corporation, a global specialty chemicals company. It is one of the three largest developers and manufacturers of bromine and bromine-based products.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

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