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Title Loan Companies to Pay $60,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Harassment and Disability Discrimination Suit

October 19, 2023
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Settles Federal Charges Employee Was Subjected to N-Word, Did Not Accommodate Her Disability, and Then Fired Her

Georgia-based Community Loans of America, Inc. and its subsidiary, Carolina Title Loans, Inc., have agreed to pay $60,000 and provide statewide equitable and injunctive relief to settle a racial harassment and disability discharge lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, from approximately August 2019 through September 2019, a branch manager at the defendants’ Greenville [South Carolina] location subjected an African American employee to a hostile work environment based on race. The manager made derogatory comments about Blacks and used racial slurs, including the N-word, in the employee’s presence. The employee reported these comments to managers and to a company hotline, but no action was taken. In addition, the defendants refused to allow the employee to return to work on crutches after a disability-related surgery, forcing her to remain on unpaid leave until they fired her, the EEOC said.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Community Loans of America and Carolina Title Loans, Inc, Civil Action No.: 6:22-cv-1000-DCC-JDA) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

Under the three-year consent decree resolving the suit, the defendants will provide monetary relief to the former employee and implement policies and training to prevent race- and disability-based discrimination in workplaces throughout South Carolina. The defendants will provide ongoing monitoring and compliance reports to the EEOC for the decree’s term.

“The EEOC appreciates that it was able to work with this employer to achieve a just resolution for the aggrieved employee and to secure broad relief for the employer’s South Carolina workforce through training and oversight,” said Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District. “Employers can avoid situations like this by taking effective action to eliminate racially hostile conduct in the workplace when they become aware of it and by providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities when they are able to do so without undue hardship.”

For more information on race and color discrimination, please visit eeoc.gov/racecolor-discrimination. For more information on harassment, please visit eeoc.gov/harassment. For more information on disability discrimination, please visit eeoc.gov/disability-discrimination.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

News source: eeoc.gov/newsroom/title-loan-companies-pay-60000-settle-eeoc-racial-harassment-and-disability-discrimination

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