OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced March 24 that Mukilteo-based aerospace company Electroimpact will pay $485,000 after allegations of discrimination and retaliation, as well as unfair and deceptive advertising.
According to Ferguson’s office, the company and President Peter Zieve refused to hire Muslim applicants, committed religious and national origin harassment and discriminated against employees because of their marital status. Additionally, Electroimpact would purportedly retaliate against employees who opposed its practices.
“The conduct outlined in our complaint is outrageous,” Ferguson said. “Discriminating against workers and retaliating against anyone who questions it is illegal.”
Because of Zieve’s discrimination, 94.5 percent of the company’s 474 engineers are white. Ferguson’s office argued that this fact makes Electroimpact’s claim to be an “equal opportunity employer” false advertising.
In addition to the monetary penalty, Electroimpact and Zieve agreed to various changes to its business practices. Zieve can no longer participate in evaluating potential employees unless they are for management positions. The company also will provide annual training to employees about rights guaranteed by the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the Consumer Protection Act.