December 06, 2016

A group of African-American men filed a class action suit in Illinois federal court Tuesday accusing a national staffing agency of sending them to the most difficult assignments or denying them work altogether based on stereotypes about their race, part of what their attorneys call a pattern of discrimination in the industry.

The suit claims staffing agency MVP, also known as Personnel Staffing Group LLC, complied with several of its clients' requests not to refer African-American employees, selecting primarily Hispanic workers instead. In addition to MVP, which has offices in nearly 40 states and several near Chicago, the suit names seven Chicago-area companies that contracted with MVP and allegedly barred the agency from sending them African-American workers.

The suit hopes to help end a pattern at some companies in the temporary staffing industry, plaintiffs co-counsel Joseph Sellers, chair of the Civil Rights and Employment Practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, told Law360 on Tuesday.

"We know of other companies that are engaged in the same practices," Sellers said. "It's based on an effort to accommodate and anticipate the preferences [of client companies]. In the staffing industry, these kinds of practices can still flourish."

The full article can be read here.