A Chicago-area bakery and a staffing firm agreed to pay $1.04 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging racial bias, according to a filing in federal court. Parties in the case are now seeking preliminary approval of the settlement.
Gold Standard Bakery allegedly directed staffing firm Personnel Staffing Group LLC — which does business as MVP — not to send African American workers, according to court documents. The request was made to the staffing firm’s office in Cicero, Illinois, and the lawsuit alleges African American workers were denied the jobs. However, Gold Standard and MVP denied the claims in the settlement.
According to court documents, on occasions when African American workers were sent to the bakery, they were marked “Do Not Return” and given only one-off assignments in jobs with the most unpleasant working conditions.
The long-running case was first brought forward in 2012. Court filings indicate both the bakery and the staffing firm were in precarious financial conditions and helped prompt the move to settle.
The class involves approximately 1,000 African American workers who sought work assignments at Gold Standard Bakery through MVP but were not assigned to the bakery when a position was available during the period of Feb. 27, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014, according to court records.
Of the $1.04 million that will go to class members, Gold Standard’s share is $675,000, while MVP’s is $365,000.
An additional $1.325 million for plaintiffs attorneys’ fees and costs is also on the table.