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Matrix LLC Pays $450,000 to Settle Race Discrimination Lawsuit

In January 2012, Matrix, LLC — a Philadelphia cleaning company — agreed to pay $450,000 to 15 former employees to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The lawsuit alleged that Matrix told a white supervisor not to hire any more black cleaners to work at a certain site in Pennsylvania. When she hired qualified black workers anyway, she was fired in retaliation for opposing the company’s discrimination. The lawsuit also alleged that Matrix officials told the black cleaners to sit in the back of the cafeteria during break; later banning them from the cafeteria during breaks altogether. Eventually, all the employees at the site were fired and replaced with a non-black cleaning crew.

In addition to the monetary fine, Matrix also must train its managers about racial discrimination and retaliation laws.

These actions violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race. It also makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for opposing discrimination.  Race discrimination means treating someone unfairly because he or she is of a certain race or because of a personal characteristic associated with race, such as hair texture, skin color, or facial features.

Title VII prohibits employers from:

  • Failing or refusing to hire someone based on race
  • Firing or disciplining an employee based on race
  • Paying en employee less based on race
  • Failing to provide benefits, promotions, or other opportunities
  • Improperly segregating employees by race

If you have been the victim of harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination in the workplace, contact us today to discuss your legal concerns with one of our employment lawyers.

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Neil H. Deutsch
Retired

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination,…

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Debra M. McGarvey
Attorney

About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA),…

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