Black Women Applicants Win Discrimination Lawsuit
As an naturalized citizen, I have a great deal of empathy for those who risk their lives to come to this country to provide for their families. The culprit in the current immigration debate that rarely gets the spotlight are the companies that hire undocumented workers and exploit their labor to make a larger profit than they would if they hired employees legally. When these corrupt practices are coupled with discrimination the results is even more despicable. Charlyn Dozier applied for a job at the Howard Industries electrical transformer plant in Laurel, Mississippi, every three to six months beginning in 2002, but wasn’t offered a position. The other African American plaintiffs, Veronica Cook, Yolanda Phelps and Seleatha McGee, made similar allegations.
The four women sued for discrimination after immigration agents detained nearly 600 undocumented workers during the raid at the sprawling plant in 2008.The lawsuit claimed that Howard Industries discriminated against non-hispanic American workers by giving preferential treatment to undocumented Latino applicants. The company was fined $2.5 million in February 2011 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate immigration laws. Howard Industries will pay $1.3 million into a settlement fund to be paid to possibly as many as 5,000 non-Hispanic individuals who applied for jobs at the company between March 2003 and Aug. 28, 2008.