Farmers Insurance Exchange will pay $225,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Northern California, the federal agency announced.
The suit filed by the EEOC alleges Farmers Insurance Exchange terminated two Southeast Asian American employees of Hmong descent in 2009 for improper coding, but failed to take similar action against employees of a different race for the same conduct.
EEOC also charged the company with terminating a Caucasian employee in 2012 in retaliation for having testified before EEOC during its investigation.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. EEOC filed suit against Farmers Insurance Exchange in 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, Case No. 1:13-cv-01574 AWI SKO) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Under the consent decree approved by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Ishii, Farmers Insurance Exchange admits no liability, but agrees to pay $225,000 to the three terminated employees to voluntarily resolve EEOC’s case.
Additionally, Farmers agreed to: publish its policies regarding discrimination, retaliation and the complaint procedures; distribute any revised policies to all employees at the Fresno Branch Claims Office region; provide annual training for human resources personnel and managers who oversee the Fresno BCO region; designate an equal employment monitor; post an employee notice about the settlement; and undertake record keeping and reporting to EEOC.
The federal agency will monitor compliance with the decree.
“We commend Farmers Insurance Exchange for agreeing to make changes that will ensure compliance with federal law,” Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Fresno in its jurisdiction, said in a statement.
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