EEOC Sues Title Loan Firm

By Staff Writer April 06, 2022

Georgia-based Community Loans of America and its subsidiary, Carolina Title Loans, violated federal law by subjecting an employee to a racially hostile work environment, by failing to accommodate her disability, and by firing her because of that disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed recently. 

According to the EEOC’s complaint, from approximately August 2019 through September 2019, the branch manager of the employer’s operations in Greenville, S.C., subjected Shaneka Jenkins to unwelcome severe and pervasive comments based on Jenkins’ race, African American. Specifically, the branch manager made racist comments about black customers in Jenkins’ presence. Jenkins reported the racially offensive comments directly to two different managers, but no action was taken to stop the harassment. Jenkins also attempted to report the hostile working conditions through the employer’s employee hotline, but the company did not return her calls.  

Also, according to the EEOC’s complaint, the employer refused to allow Jenkins to return to work following unpaid leave for a disability-related surgery because she needed to return with the use of crutches or a wheelchair. The company told Jenkins that she could not return until she did not have any restrictions. By refusing to consider a reasonable accommodation or to allow Jenkins to return to work with the use of crutches or a wheelchair, the employer forced Jenkins to extend her unpaid leave. Ultimately, rather than accommodating Jenkins’ return to work, the company fired her.  

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary relief for Jenkins, including compensatory and punitive damages. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief against the company to end any ongoing discrimination based on race or disability and to take steps to prevent such unlawful conduct in the future. 

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Last modified on Monday, 11 April 2022 16:23