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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Lawsuit: Howard Industries discriminated

    Lawsuit: Howard Industries discriminated
    Women, who aren't Latino, say they were hired only after raids
    11:49 PM, Feb. 25, 2011

    Written by
    Jimmie E. Gates
    jgates@clarionledger.com

    One day after Howard Industries Inc. pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for violating immigration laws, four women filed suit against the company accusing it of discriminating against them because they aren't Latino.

    Veronica Cook, Yolanda Phelps, Charlyn Dozier and Seleatha McGee, all African American, said they repeatedly applied for employment at Howard Industries, but were only hired after the company was raided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On Aug. 25, 2008, 592 illegal workers were arrested at the electrical transformer plant in Laurel in the biggest workplace immigration raid in U.S. history.

    "We want Howard Industries to pay for the blatant discrimination it allowed to exist in this plant," the women's attorney, Lisa Ross, said Friday after the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

    In the same court on Thursday, Howard Industries pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.

    Its former human resources manager, Jose Humberto Gonzalez, had pleaded guilty in December 2009 to conspiracy and admitted he hired hundreds of people whom he knew were in the country illegally. Gonzalez, whose sentencing was delayed several times, now will be sentenced Thursday in Hattiesburg federal court. His sentencing date was set Friday.

    The Clarion-Ledger attempted to reach officials at the Laurel plant on Friday. A female office worker said she was going to pass along the newspaper's request for a comment and she would have someone call. But by late Friday, no one had called.

    Frank Trapp, an attorney for Howard Industries in the criminal case, said Friday he couldn't comment about the suit, but said he was surprised to hear of it.

    Ross said she will ask the court to certify the lawsuit as class-action for all those denied employment allegedly because of their race.

    "As early as August 2000, Howard Industries devised, implemented, carried out and controlled an employment policy whereby Latino job applicants, all or nearly all being undocumented Mexican immigrants, were given preferential treatment in hiring at Howard Industries' transformer manufacturing facility in Laurel," the lawsuit alleges.

    The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop what it says is the illegal practice. Also, the lawsuit asked for unspecified damages.

    "This lawsuit isn't just for African Americans, it's also for whites who were discriminated against," Ross said.

    Despite the timing of the lawsuit, Ross said the lawsuit was in the works before Howard Industries' guilty plea.

    As of Friday, three of the women were still employed with the company, with two of them from Jones County and the other from Jasper County. Dozier has moved out of state, Ross said.

    Most of those arrested in the 2008 raid were deported, though a few were convicted on identity theft charges for using fraudulent documents and providing fake papers to other workers.

    Those detained in the raid came from countries including Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

    Up until the guilty plea Thursday, Howard Industries had repeatedly denied knowing that illegal immigrants worked at the plant. The $2.5 million fine is more than the usual fine for a company pleading guilty under the federal conspiracy statute. A corporation usually is subject to a $500,000 fine and not more than five years of probation.

    The company in a statement said it was pleased to resolve the investigation "based on the actions of its former human resources manager Jose Humberto Gonzalez."

    Howard Industries said the illegal workers used fraudulent documents to "circumvent the numerous identification checks" the company used.

    But prosecutors said the company knowingly employed illegal immigrants, and even hired some of them after the Social Security Administration told the company that their Social Security numbers were not valid.

    Gonzalez admitted to similar allegations when he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20 ... criminated
    If a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!

  2. #2
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    MISS-Residents lined up for jobs at Howard Industries
    Story Posted Aubust 26, 2008
    http://www.alipac.us/ftopic-129566-days ... asc-0.html

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    i seem to remember a story from the union steward at Howard at the time who said he never saw job openings posted on the wall but he ALWAYS saw new hispanics there all the time.

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    Re: Lawsuit: Howard Industries discriminated

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratbstard
    One day after Howard Industries Inc. pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for violating immigration laws, four women filed suit against the company accusing it of discriminating against them because they aren't Latino.

    Veronica Cook, Yolanda Phelps, Charlyn Dozier and Seleatha McGee, all African American, said they repeatedly applied for employment at Howard Industries, but were only hired after the company was raided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On Aug. 25, 2008, 592 illegal workers were arrested at the electrical transformer plant in Laurel in the biggest workplace immigration raid in U.S. history.

    "We want Howard Industries to pay for the blatant discrimination it allowed to exist in this plant," the women's attorney, Lisa Ross, said Friday after the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

    .

    Its former human resources manager, Jose Humberto Gonzalez, had pleaded guilty in December 2009 to conspiracy and admitted he hired hundreds of people whom he knew were in the country illegally. Gonzalez, whose sentencing was delayed several times, now will be sentenced Thursday in Hattiesburg federal court. His sentencing date was set Friday.



    Ross said she will ask the court to certify the lawsuit as class-action for all those denied employment allegedly because of their race.

    "As early as August 2000, Howard Industries devised, implemented, carried out and controlled an employment policy whereby Latino job applicants, all or nearly all being undocumented Mexican immigrants, were given preferential treatment in hiring at Howard Industries' transformer manufacturing facility in Laurel," the lawsuit alleges.
    I think EVERY American citizen that has applied for a job, not getting said job and later it is found out that the company was hiring illegals should sue on this basis. I hope these women win and I hope to see more of these lawsuits against the companys that hire illegals.

  5. #5
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    Its former human resources manager, Jose Humberto Gonzalez, had pleaded guilty in December 2009 to conspiracy and admitted he hired hundreds of people whom he knew were in the country illegally. Gonzalez, whose sentencing was delayed several times, now will be sentenced Thursday in Hattiesburg federal court. His sentencing date was set Friday. Ross said she will ask the court to certify the lawsuit as class-action for all those denied employment allegedly because of their race.

    "As early as August 2000, Howard Industries devised, implemented, carried out and controlled an employment policy whereby Latino job applicants, all or nearly all being undocumented Mexican immigrants, were given preferential treatment in hiring at Howard Industries' transformer manufacturing facility in Laurel," the lawsuit alleges.
    ALL one has to do is look at the name of the HR manager and you can understand the last paragraph as being true.
    I can not wait for the sentencing next Thursday and hope he gets the maximum prison time, fine, and then deport him if he is naturalized

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    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    Englishmen, who have no right in this kingdom of France, the King of Heaven sends you word and warning...depart into your own country... Joan of Arc.

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    if i was on the jury i'd award a settlemnt to the people who were denied a job so large that it whipes out the company ...

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marquis
    if i was on the jury i'd award a settlemnt to the people who were denied a job so large that it whipes out the company ...
    Well not wipe them out but force them to sell to new owners in order to pay the fine would be good.
    If a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratbstard
    Quote Originally Posted by marquis
    if i was on the jury i'd award a settlemnt to the people who were denied a job so large that it whipes out the company ...
    Well not wipe them out but force them to sell to new owners in order to pay the fine would be good.
    no , i'd rather send a message by shutting down the entire company ...

  10. #10
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    http://www.alipac.us/ftopict-229518.html

    the station manager of the only TV station in Hattiesburg wants to know why we do not hear anything about any more work place immigration raids.
    his email is listed at the above link

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