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Community College racial discrimination lawsuit settled

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A racial discrimination lawsuit between the Mississippi Delta Community College and an employee of the school has been settled.

A news release from the U.S. Justice Department, says MDCC has agreed to pay $75,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to Pamela Venton on the basis of race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII is a federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

According to the complaint, MDCC did not have a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for paying Pamela Venton, who is black, a significantly lower annual salary than four of her white coworkers working in the same position with the same duties and responsibilities. Venton complained internally about the wage disparities and, while MDCC agreed to adjust her salary beginning with the next academic school year, it did not compensate Venton for her lost wages.

“This settlement agreement reflects the Civil Rights Division’s continued commitment to vigorous enforcement of Title VII’s prohibition against race-based pay decisions,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division.

In addition to the $75,000, MDCC has agreed to implement appropriate training on identifying and correcting unlawful wage discrimination.

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