ICRC issues several findings of probable cause

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:

B & K Automotive (Cloverdale, Ind.)
Complainant was hired as a part-time delivery driver on July 29, 2013 and was quickly promoted to a full-time Counter Sales Trainee. During the initial interview, and throughout the course of her employment, the Complainant provided medical documentation and discussed her medical condition openly with the Respondent’s president. Additionally, Complainant requested that she would need some time off work to attend doctor’s appointments. Nonetheless, Respondent terminated Complainant on or about October 8, 2013 for excessive absenteeism related to her doctor’s appointments. Respondent claims it has an unwritten 90-day probationary period, however no evidence has been provided to substantiate this policy.

Barnaby’s Restaurant (Mishawaka, Ind.)
Complainant was hired as a Busser in July or August 2013 by Barnaby’s Restaurant. Complainant asserts that during his tenure with Respondent, he never received an employee handbook or was informed of a method by which to report harassment. During the course of his employment, he alleges that Respondent’s Night Manager called him a “n***er” on numerous occasions. He reported the comments to the General Manager but he failed to investigate or address the matter. Ultimately, the racially derogatory comments continued and Complainant resigned in part to the harassment and another adverse employment action when his hours were reduced.

J & J and Associates, Inc. (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Respondent hired Complainant in May 2013 as a dealer. At all times relevant to the Complaint, Complainant sold Kirby vacuum cleaners through conducting in-home cleaning demonstrations. During the course of her employment, Complainant alleges that she was one of the only female dealers and was treated less favorably than her male counterparts. This treatment included being berated in front of potential clients and having to wait more than an hour to be picked up from an in-home demonstration. Ultimately, a male representative from Respondent terminated Complainant for staying at a customer’s home longer than Respondent preferred.

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.