CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Oct. 4 that Majestic Steel USA, a family-owned steel distributor in Cleveland, agreed to a voluntary conciliation agreement after allegations of race and gender discrimination.

"We commend Majestic Steel for their cooperation in working with the EEOC to resolve this matter," said Kevin Berry, acting director of EEOC's Philadelphia District, which includes Cleveland in its jurisdiction. "This agreement is a step toward addressing concerns regarding access to job opportunities for women and African-Americans in an industry where those opportunities have historically been limited."

According to the EEOC, it was probable that the company had discriminatory hiring practices between 2012 and 2014. Majestic Steel purportedly failed to hire females for material handler [grade] 1 positions, and failed to hire African-Americans for web developer and receptionist/office specialist positions.

"This agreement shows we are willing to work with employers to establish policies and practices that ensure equal opportunity, and I applaud Majestic Steel for their efforts,” said EEOC Cleveland Field Office director Cheryl Mabry.

Majestic Steel did not admit liability, but will pay monetary settlements to affected parties and will implement better and more inclusive hiring practices.

"Our company believes in inclusive­ness. One of our key values is 'togetherness,' which we define as focusing on the 'we,' and we believe a diverse team makes our company better,” said Susan Suvak, chief financial officer of Majestic Steel. “We are committed to making sure our recruitment and hiring practices are inclusive, and that every member of our team is treated with respect."

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