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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
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TDD (202) 514-1888

Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission File Lawsuit Against the Housing Authority of El Paso, Texas

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have jointly filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to enforce a mediation settlement agreement that was entered into by the EEOC on behalf of an individual and the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (Housing Authority). The settlement agreement resolved a charge that was filed against the Housing Authority under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the bases of sex, race, national origin and religion, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).

The charging party claimed that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her national origin and her age when she was not selected for a promotion. In exchange for the dismissal of the charge, the Housing Authority agreed to pay the charging party $2,000, make certain changes to its promotional interview panels, and allow an outside human resources consultant to monitor the panels. However, subsequent to the signing of the settlement agreement, the Housing Authority informed the EEOC that it would not honor the agreement’s terms.

"The parties to a settlement agreement must honor its terms and conditions," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department and the EEOC will work together to ensure that discrimination in the workplace is met with the appropriate sanctions."

The Department of Justice has jurisdiction to bring lawsuits to enforce settlement agreements negotiated during the EEOC administrative process involving state or local government employers that resolve charges filed under Title VII, while the EEOC has such jurisdiction with respect to charges filed under the ADEA. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is available on its Web site at Additional information about the EEOC is available on its Web site at