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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s (ICRC) Deputy Director, Akia Haynes, announced today that there is probable cause to believe that an Indianapolis man, who is African American, was subject to disparate discipline and gender discrimination which led to his termination from Federal Express Corporation on December 31, 2012.
The Complainant, who was hired by Federal Express Corporation in 1998, was terminated for repeated violations of the company’s Acceptable Conduct Policy. However, while the Complainant was terminated for violations of this policy, a similarly-situated Caucasian female employee maintained her employment.
“The issue before the commission is whether the Complainant’s gender and race were related to his termination,” said Haynes. “Given the facts presented by both parties there is probable cause to believe that illegal discrimination may have occurred.”
In order to prevail in this case the Complainant must show that: (1) he engaged in prohibited conduct similar to that of a co-worker of another race and (2) the discipline levied against him was more severe than that levied against his Caucasian co-worker.
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 Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
A public hearing is necessary to determine whether a violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law occurred as alleged. The parties may agree to have these claims heard in the circuit or superior court in the county in which the alleged discriminatory act occurred. However, both parties must agree to such an election and notify the Commission within twenty (20) days of receipt of this Notice, or the Commission’s Administrative Law Judge will hear this matter.