HARRISBURG, Pa., July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has ordered Concern Professional Services, of Fleetwood, Berks County, to pay former employee Ezekiel V. Wilson, of Mills, Potter County, more than $40,000 in back pay, plus interest, for race-based discrimination.
The business is a licensed, non-profit child welfare agency. The order took effect Tuesday, June 26.
Wilson, who is African American, filed a complaint alleging that the agency had terminated his employment because of his race. After an investigation found probable cause to support his allegations, the commission held a public hearing on the case.
In July of 2007, the commission ordered the agency to cease discrimination based on race and undergo training to prevent further discrimination. The commission also awarded back pay to Wilson.
Concern Professional Services appealed the order. In May of 2009, Commonwealth Court vacated the order and remanded the case to the commission for a new hearing because commissioners who heard the original case were no longer serving when the order was issued.
On Oct. 26, 2010, the commission again ordered the agency to cease discrimination based on race and undergo training, but did not award back pay to Wilson. Wilson appealed the order to Commonwealth Court.
Commonwealth Court affirmed the commission's finding that the agency had discriminated against Wilson because of his race, but ordered an additional hearing to consider whether he should receive back pay.
Three of eleven commissioners dissented from the vote to award back pay.
The commission's order awarded Wilson $28,416 for back pay, plus six percent interest annually until payment is made. To date, the interest brings the award to more than $40,000.
Concern Professional Services has 30 days to report to the commission how it will comply with this order and the previous order to cease discriminating and undergo preventative training.
Media contact: Shannon Powers, 717-783-8266
SOURCE Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission