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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 12, 2009
Justice Department Files Lawsuit Alleging Race Discrimination Against Job Applicants by City of Gary, Ind.

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice announced today the filing of a lawsuit against the city of Gary, Ind., alleging job discrimination against six individuals on the basis of their race, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended).

The Department’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, alleges that the six individuals applied for emergency medical technician (EMT) positions with the city and were subsequently placed on a hiring list that stated that offers of employment would be based on the rank order of the individuals listed. The complaint further alleges that the city failed to offer EMT positions to any of the six individuals, all of whom are white, while offering EMT positions to several other individuals, all of whom are African-American, and that each of these six complainants ranked higher than the lowest-ranked applicant to receive a job offer.

"Federal law guarantees equal access to employment opportunities without regard to race," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "The Department is committed to enforcing all the federal civil rights laws, including Title VII, under its jurisdiction."

Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion, and prohibits retaliation against an employee who opposes an unlawful employment practice, or because the employee has made a charge or participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under the act.

The continued enforcement of Title VII has been a priority of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. More information is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp/index.html.

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