SAN ANTONIO – Management Solutions, Inc. (MSI), an apartment management company, violated federal law by punishing a white manager for hiring a black employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, MSI demoted a white property manager because he hired a well-qualified African American employee as a leasing agent at MSI’s De Zavala Oaks Apartments, an apartment complex located in San Antonio, Texas. The EEOC also charged that this property manager was forced out of his job after he hired the black man despite a directive by one of the owners to maintain a “certain look” in the office, which did not include African Americans.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After the EEOC’s San Antonio Field office determined that MSI had violated the law, it filed suit (CASE NO. SA09CA0655XR) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for the victim, as well as injunctive relief.
“The statutory protections against retaliation are crucial to the enforcement of our employment discrimination laws,” said Senior Trial Attorney Eduardo Juarez of the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office. “Demoting an employee in retaliation for opposing perceived discrimination cannot be ignored. This case serves the compelling public interest of ensuring that no employee is chilled from opposing unlawful discrimination in the workplace.”
Judith G. Taylor, supervisory trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office, added, “It is unlawful for an employer to demote or discharge an employee with hiring authority simply for hiring a black applicant. The effective enforcement of the law depends upon people who are aware of violations coming forward to expose them.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.