May 15, 2012
After agreeing to pay $400,000 to eight former dockworkers to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Central Freight Lines Inc. released a statement denying discrimination and saying the settlement was only to avoid the costs of further litigation. The company also says a press release from the EEOC about the settlement is one-sided. "Central Freight Lines Inc. has denied from the onset of this litigation that it discriminated against Ricky Curry, John Bean, Paul Elwell, Richard Harris, James Thurmond, Keith Vessels, Purvis Carter and Reynaldo Tijerina," the statement says. "These former employees were included in a reduction-in-force in August 2007 and was conducted under prior management. "In the Consent Decree, Central Freight explicitly denied that it discriminated against these former employees," the staement continues. "Central Freight further denies that it violated the ADEA or any other state or federal statute related to the claims and allegations made by Plaintiffs and the EEOC. Central Freight further denies all allegations made by the Plaintiffs and the EEOC as well as any liability or damages related to the allegations made by Plaintiffs and the EEOC."The statement says that the EEOC "failed to mention several key facts in their one-sided press release. For example, the fact that five other individuals, all under the age of 40, were also included in the reduction-in-force, is curiously absent from the EEOC's one-sided press release...""Further absent from the press release is the fact that the sole reason that Central Freight, the plaintiffs and the EEOC settled this matter, and entered into the Consent Decree, was to avoid the expense of further litigation. This fact, as well as Central Freight's denial of discrimination, are explicitly contained in the Consent Decree."