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INDIANAPOLIS – An Anderson, Ind. man alleges that his termination from Genuine Parts Company was based on race discrimination. Following a preliminary investigation, a notice of finding was released today by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) finding that there is probable cause to believe a discriminatory practice occurred in this particular instance.
“The issue before the Commission is whether Genuine Parts Company terminated an employee because of his race,” said ICRC Deputy Director Akia Haynes. “In order to prevail, the Complainant must show that he is a member of a protected class, he suffered an adverse employment action, he was meeting his employer’s business expectations and similarly situated employees of another race were treated more favorably.”
On December 4, 2012, Complainant, a former employee with Genuine Parts Company, filed a Complaint with the ICRC, alleging he was terminated from his employment on the basis of race. The Respondent, Genuine Parts Company, claims the Complainant was terminated for theft. However, several witnesses dispute Respondent’s claims and corroborate Complainant’s assertions that he never removed parts from the store.
During the investigation, the ICRC also uncovered that Complainant was subject to more drug testing than his Caucasian co-workers despite the tests being random. Further, the Complainant asserts the store manager “singled him out” and required him to perform additional duties not assigned or requested of Caucasian employees.
Given the evidence, taken as a whole, ICRC Deputy Director Akia Haynes determined that Genuine Parts Company proffered reason for terminating the charging party may be pretext for unlawful discrimination. Therefore, based on the findings, probable cause exists to believe there may have been a violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law as alleged.
It is important to note that a finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the law has been violated. The law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Manager, at (317) 232-2651.