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Wieland settles sex, race discrimination lawsuit

Atlanta homebuilder John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods has agreed to a settle a race and sex discrimination lawsuit filed by federal authorities in June 2009.

Under the settlement, Wieland will pay $378,000 to six claimants and hire at least 10 African-Americans and women into management positions over the next six years, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC suit claimed that WIeland “unlawfully engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against black sales agents by intentionally assigning them to housing communities based on the race of the surrounding community.”

The result was that the black agents earned less than white agents who were assigned to housing communities where they sold higher-priced homes, according to the EEOC. The settlement provides monetary relief to five African-American sales agents and a white human resources representative.

The suit also resolves charges that the company failed to hire and promote African-Americans and women into management positions, according to the EEOC.

In the consent decree, Wieland has agreed to exercise good faith in hiring qualified blacks and women “at or reasonably near (their) qualified applicant rates” for management positions, the EEOC stated.

Wieland must also implement nondiscriminatory hiring measures including targeted recruitment and advertising, and training for positive EEO management practices.  The company has also pledged to continue to supply diversity training to its executive and management personnel who participate in the recruiting and hiring process.  The decree also provides for reporting and record keeping. 

Wieland has been responsible for a number of communities in Fayette County.

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