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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 race discrimination which led to his termination from Magnode Corporation in January 2013.
The Complainant, who was placed by First Call Temporary Services at Magnode Corporation in September 2012, was terminated for breaking a tool in a machine. However, while the Complainant was terminated for breaking a tool, a similarly-situated Caucasian employee had broken tools in machinery on several occasions but was not subjected to discipline. Further, Complainant asserts that his supervisor told him that employees broke drills constantly but had not faced discipline.
“The issue before the commission is whether the Complainant’s race was related to his termination,” said Haynes. “Given the facts presented by the Complainant, and the failure to rebut Complainant’s assertions by the Respondent, 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.