DENVER, Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Matheson Trucking, Inc. CEO Mark Matheson today emphatically denied charges of racial discrimination at the Matheson Flight Extenders materials handling center at the Denver International Airport. These allegations led to a jury decision at the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver yesterday awarding more than $14 million in lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages to seven current and former employees from 2010 through 2013.
"We have been a family-owned and operated business for more than 50 years. Our employees are like family to us and we have always taken great pride in caring for all of them. From day one we have been committed to equal employment opportunity and are committed to making employment decisions without regard to race, color, creed, sex, gender preference, national origin or religious affiliation," Mark Matheson said. "This verdict paints a negative picture and a false perception of our company that is emphatically not who we are. Our reputation has been damaged and we intend to appeal."
Mr. Matheson said his father started this business after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act and developed comprehensive Affirmative Action guidelines, non-harassment and diversity policies that ensured that everyone – men, women and members of all ethnic groups and cultures – would be treated fairly, equally and equitably. "The nature of our work requires our employees to work as a team in order to meet our deadlines," said Mr. Matheson.
This team is made up of a diverse workforce inclusive of people from all different races and cultures including African, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders and Native American. He said, "diversity in our Denver workforce has increased from 53 percent in 2010 up to 65 percent today."
"We are extremely disappointed in the verdict and do not believe it reflects the diverse work environment we have tried to create," said Matheson Flight Extenders President Glen Gates.
"We go the extra mile when it comes to being sensitive to employee concerns and, as it relates to Denver, the company has set aside a room for employees, including some of the Plaintiffs in this case who are followers of Islam, to use on the job as a quiet place for prayer."
At the same time, the company also offers a clothing advance to workers who may not be able to afford warm boots and clothing during the winter, with a low cost reimbursement schedule spread over several months.
"We have always gone above and beyond to ensure that our workers are taken care of in meaningful and practical ways. We fully intend to do whatever is needed to restore our good name, public trust, and customer confidence. We intend to appeal the verdict to set the record straight in keeping with our long history of anti-discrimination policies and practices," Mr. Gates added.
Matheson Flight Extenders headquarters are based in Sacramento, California, with operations at the Denver International Airport. The company provides a comprehensive range of ground support and terminal handling services to its customers in 23 hub cities coast-to-coast and has more than 700 employees nationwide. In Denver, the company is located at 25630 E 75th Avenue, Bldg. 12, STE 300, Denver, Colorado 80249.
SOURCE Matheson Flight Extenders