by Patricia Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

On January 15, 2008, the EEOC announced that a federal court had granted final approval for a $6.2 million partial settlement for black and Hispanic sheet metal workers who suffered discrimination by their union. The EEOC and State and City of New York, along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington DC and a firm representing the minority members, had sued Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association in New York City. They alleged that Local 28 of this union had underpaid the workers because of their race or national origin for many years. The settlement will compensate minority members of Local 28 for lost wages for the years 1984 to 1991. There will also be significant changes made in the union’s job referral system, as well as monitoring systems aimed at equalizing members’ access to job opportunities. Litigation of the remaining claims of union members who suffered discrimination after 1991 continues.

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