ICRC issues three probable cause findings

INDIANAPOLIS – Three Indiana employers have each been charged recently with discrimination in violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law(Ind. Code § 22-9, et seq).The charges were each reported to the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) and the investigations are now complete. Following these investigations, probable cause exists in each case that an illegal discriminatory practice has occurred.

Provided below is a brief overview of the three charges issued:

Colwell (Kendallville, Ind.)
Leaders Staffing, a temporary placement agency, placed Complainant with Respondent in April 2013 to work as a press operator. His duties included, but were not limited to, operating a press using instructions given by supervision through a speaker located on his machine. Complainant had difficulty understanding instructions through the speaker and made several mistakes during his employment as a result. Respondent required Complainant to undergo a hearing examination. Upon receiving the results of the examination Respondent terminated Complainant’s employment.

American Senior Communities (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Complainant, who was employed by Respondent as a full-time Charge Nurse which required her to do extensive lifting, carrying, pulling and pushing, was placed on restrictions by her physician due to her pregnancy. The restrictions by her physician requested that the Respondent provide Complainant with a light duty work assignment. The Complainant was denied a light duty work assignment and was advised by Respondent to go on Family Medical Leave. Despite Respondent’s assertions, evidence shows that they have provided light duty work or modified work assignments to similarly-situated non-pregnant employees.

M & M Stump and Tree (Auburn, Ind.)
Respondent advertised its tree trimming services in the September 26, 2013 edition of the Allen County newspaper. The advertisement stated that the Respondent provided “free estimates” and “tree work” throughout Allen County. In response to the advertisement, Complainant, who is an African American and lives in Allen County, called and the Respondent stated that he did not work in the “inner city” of Fort Wayne. Despite this response, Complainant called again and left a voicemail for Respondent. The Respondent returned the call and left a voicemail for Complainant stating he had the right to refuse service to an area and stated “have a nice day, n****r.” Several days later, after listening to Complainant’s voicemail, Complainant’s Caucasian neighbor called Respondent who visited the home without issues and provided an estimate.

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. These laws provide 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.