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Rare EEOC Case for Segregated Job Facilities In Deep South

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After complaining to Tyson Foods, Inc. about the posting of a "Whites Only" sign on one of Tyson's restrooms at its Ashland, Alabama, facility, two black employees were subjected to adverse personnel actions by Tyson management, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges in a discrimination lawsuit announced today.

The EEOC's suit, EEOC v. Tyson Foods, Inc., CV-05-BE-1704-E (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama), alleges that Tyson's violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against Henry Adams, Leon Walker, and other black employees, by establishing and maintaining a locked bathroom facility, which on occasion had signs posted on it stating "Out of Order" and "Whites Only". Keys to the facility were distributed to white employees only. After Mr. Adams and Mr. Walker complained of the segregated facility, management subjected them to adverse employment actions, including suspensions and disciplinary write-ups.

"This year the Commission is celebrating its fortieth anniversary," said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, District Director of the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "While this country has made great strides in addressing issues of racism, unfortunately there are still people who have not yet gotten the message that segregation in the workplace will not be tolerated. The EEOC exists to make certain that the promise of equal opportunity in employment extends not only to access to jobs but to equal treatment on those jobs."

The EEOC filed suit only after attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks injunctive relief, and compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of Henry Adams, Leon Walker, and the class of black employees.

"A company's commitment to equal opportunity is measured by more than the existence of written policies and diversity training," said Charles E. Guerrier, Regional Attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "True commitment is measured by the environment in which employees work and their understanding of what equal opportunity means on a day-to-day, one-on-one basis. When an employee feels free to lock a bathroom facility and to post a ˜Whites Only' sign on it, even for one day, that employer has not been effective in delivering the message of equal opportunity to its employees."

According to its web site "Tyson Foods, Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork and the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the Powered by Tyson (TM) strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and food service markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. Tyson has approximately 114,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world."

The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at
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Yep Kweli,

I am tired of you black people complaining all the this article where this "good white man" was set free to hopefully live his life for a crime that was committed ages slavery, you blacks should learn to leave the past in the past (end sarcasm):

Miss. town grapples with killer's release amid appeal
By Bill Nichols, USA TODAY
The small Mississippi town of Philadelphia once more finds itself battling the ghosts of its past, two months after a guilty verdict in a 41-year-old civil rights murder seemed to exorcise the city.

Edgar Ray Killen is led away from jail Aug. 12 when he was released pending appeal.
By Kyle Carter, The Neshoba Democrat via AP

Edgar Ray Killen, who was convicted June 21 of manslaughter in the 1964 slayings of civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, was freed Aug. 12 pending appeal by the same trial judge who sentenced him to 60 years in jail.

The decision by Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon has deeply disturbed Philadelphia civic leaders, who had hoped Killen's conviction would allow the city to end its decades in the shadows.

"What's so disheartening about seeing Mr. Killen released is that I felt a majority of the people of Neshoba County had spoken and said he ought to be behind bars," says James Prince, the editor of the weekly Neshoba Democrat. "For him to be released is just an atrocity, and it sends the wrong message to hatemongers and these white supremacists in the Klan."

Members of a multiracial local coalition that works on racial healing were crestfallen over Killen's release. "I just thought it was downright ridiculous," says Jewel McDonald, who attended the bond hearing. Her brother and mother were badly beaten during the burning of a black church that the three young civil rights workers were investigating.

State Attorney General Jim Hood has asked the state Supreme Court to overturn Killen's release. The high court has asked for motions to be filed by Aug. 30 but has set no schedule for making a ruling. Appeals generally are heard within a year's time.

Killen is the only person to face state murder charges in the case, one of the most notorious of the civil rights era. It was the basis for the 1988 film Mississippi Burning.

Federal civil rights charges were filed against Killen and 17 other reputed Ku Klux Klansmen in 1967. Seven were convicted, but none served more than six years in prison. Killen was freed after an all-white jury deadlocked.

Gordon granted Killen's release on a $600,000 bond after a hearing in which he said state and county prosecutors had failed to satisfy the requirements of Mississippi law for keeping Killen in jail during the appeal. Those conditions: that Killen might be likely to flee or would be a danger to the community.

Killen's lawyers argued that the 80-year-old Baptist minister and former Ku Klux Klan leader presented neither threat because he uses a wheelchair after a March logging accident that broke both his legs.

Killen testified that he was in constant pain and was denied proper medical care in jail. He claimed he was denied a pillow to sleep on. "The court won't like it, but I bribed a black convict, and he got me one out of the trash can," Killen said.

Prosecutors offered two corrections officers who claimed Killen threatened them shortly after he was sentenced. After asking Killen if he was suicidal, jailers Willie Baxter and Kenny Spencer said Killen replied, "No, I would kill you before I killed myself."

In his petition asking the state Supreme Court to put Killen back behind bars, Hood alleged that Killen's brother made an "indirect" death threat to Gordon before the June trial.

Gordon confirmed to The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger that a state investigator heard J.D. Killen threaten to shoot him, but the judge said he didn't take it seriously. J.D. Killen told the Associated Press that the accusation "is totally wrong. ... I never threatened anyone."

Some Philadelphia civil rights leaders were sanguine about the ruling. "I don't like it, but it's one of those situations where people have to understand that the legal system has to run its course," says Leroy Clemons, head of the local NAACP. "I hate that it's taken 40 years to get to this point, but I think justice will be done in the end."

Philadelphia native and former state secretary of State Dick Molpus says he is confident that the state Supreme Court will ultimately put Killen back in jail.

Molpus, who began the drive toward justice in 1989 by becoming the first state official to apologize for the murders, acknowledges that morale in Philadelphia has fallen.

"The people that pushed for justice in this case are clearly stunned by this ruling," he says. "But I feel this is hardly the final word."

Prince, who co-chairs the Philadelphia Coalition along with Clemons, penned a blistering editorial in last week's edition of the Democrat that accused local law enforcement of "coddling" Killen "and his band of thugs."

"Closure seemed so imminent in June after the manslaughter conviction," Prince wrote. "Unfortunately, a sizable chunk of Neshoba Countians remain defiant, clutching the sin of racism with a death grip, clothed often in religion, calling evil good and good evil."

** And they wonder why some people never feel remorse for the things that happen to them abroad........
For a moment, I thought it was a restaurant owned by Mike Tyson ! Eek

But nevertheless... double Eek Eek to Tyson Foods, Inc.

- - - - -

Kevin41, while he certainly deserves jail-time it's interesting how karma works: "the 80-year-old Baptist minister and former Ku Klux Klan leader presented neither threat because he uses a wheelchair after a March logging accident that broke both his legs."
Both of those stories are so sad and indescribably incredible that I just don't even know what to say!

For Tyson foods, this would be an excellent opportunity to flex our collective muscle with a boycott ... if only we could be unified to pull it off successfully.

As for the asshole murderer ... I can't think of a better idea than Kevin41's so I'm not even gonna try.

No matter how far we've come, we've still got so far to go. Frown

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