On December 07, 2006, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Trans Bay Steel Inc., a small construction company, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division - Los ...
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On December 07, 2006, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Trans Bay Steel Inc., a small construction company, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division - Los Angeles. The EEOC charged that Defendant Trans Bay discriminated against Thai nationals in recruitment, hiring, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment and harassed them based on their national origin.
Trans Bay contracted with an employment agency to bring skilled welders into the United States from Thailand under guest worker visas. The visas required that the welders be paid the prevailing wage. Nine of the Thai welders sponsored by Trans Bay went to work for the company, but they were not paid the promised wages. The remaining sponsored Thai welders (about 40) were transported by the employment agency to other cities and forced to work long hours for no pay at restaurants, homes, and apartments owned by the agency's owner (a Thai.) The agency confiscated the welders' passports, held them against their will (confining some to cramped apartments without electricity, water, or gas), and threatened to call police and immigration authorities if they tried to escape. Eventually several escaped and were put into contact with a Thai nonprofit organization that works with victims of slavery and trafficking. The nonprofit organization filed a charge with the EEOC on the welders' behalf.
On December 08, 2006, District Judge Christina A. Snyder approved a Consent Decree submitted by the parties. Under the Consent Decree, the parties entered the Decree for the following purposes: 1) To provide agreed upon monetary and injunctive relief; 2) To ensure that Trans Bays employment practices comply with federal law; 3) To ensure work environment free from discrimination due to national origin; 4) To ensure that Trans Bay maintains a workforce free of discrimination so as to allow employees the equal employment opportunities required under Title VII; 5) To ensure that employees are protected from retaliation for engaging in a protected activity; and 6) To provide an appropriate and effective mechanism for handling harassment, discrimination, and retaliation complaints in the workplace.
Under the Consent Decree, 48 Thai welders shared in relief from Trans Bay valued at approximately $1 million (the employment agency was out of business and its owner could not be located). In addition, Trans Bay is required to employ a number of the Thai welders, help them obtain jobs with other employers, and sponsor some of them for guest worker visas if appropriate.Xin Chen - 08/28/2011