EEOC Probes FedEx on Pattern of Discrimination

June 6, 2006 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said it was investigating FedEx Corp's requirement that employees pass a cognitive abilities test for promotion past any entry level position.

The commission said it will dig deeper into an employee’s complaint that the test discriminated against blacks and Latinos.

According to Bloomberg, the EEOC said FedEx ignored a subpoena for information related to its investigation, including types of computerized or machine-readable files the company keeps regarding personnel decisions.

Bloomberg reported that the agency asked a federal judge in Arizona to order compliance. “It is unusual for an employer to try to stonewall the EEOC at such an early stage in our investigation,” Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Phoenix office told Bloomberg.

FedEx settled another lawsuit in February brought by employees who were fired for refusing to cut their dreadlocks. The company agreed to revise its personal appearance policies (See FedEx Settles on Dreadlock Discrimination Charges ). And in October 2005, the freight carrier agreed to a $500,000 settlement with the EEOC on claims of denying 20 African American employees promotions and assignments based on their race (See FedEx Settles Racial Discrimination Suit ).