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EEOC Finds State Farm Workers Discriminated On Basis Of Race

Updated: June 22, 2021 at 1:34 PM CDT
This story has been changed June 22 to add State Farm's comment.

A leader with the Bloomington-Normal NAACP on Juneteenth highlighted what she says is a federal finding of discrimination, retaliation, and racism alleged against Bloomington-based State Farm.

The case involves NAACP chapter 1st Vice President Carla Campbell-Jackson, who filed the allegation in May of 2016. At the time, Campbell-Jackson worked as a claims section manager for State Farm in Michigan.

Since then, the case has moved through the investigatory process. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a determination of reasonable cause for Campbell Jackson’s claims in February of this year.

EEOC online records show State Farm rejected a proposed conciliation agreement to settle the matter on June 11.

The agency's proposal included more than $474,000 in back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages to Campbell-Jackson. The government also proposed training for 10 specific State Farm employees, including material on EEOC rights and responsibilities, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and on State Farm’s own policies for reporting and handling reports related to those issues.

The EEOC further proposed the company re-distribute its anti-harassment policy and procedures to all workers, and to report all such complaints to the government for two years.

The federal agency has referred the issue to its legal unit for possible prosecution and notified Campbell-Jackson of her right to sue, according to the government website.

"Racism can be experienced by any individual no matter their educational attainment, their political affiliation, their status, their class. So racism is real and it is systemic," said Campbell Jackson.

The NAACP also listed 12 links to cases involving State Farm and alleged discrimination in a news release on Saturday.

“Racism, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace are intolerable, illegal and reprehensible. Unfortunately, many constituents still encounter race-based discrimination, as we are not living in a post-racial America,” said NAACP Illinois State Conference President Teresa Haley.

Campbell-Jackson said making certain that employees and customers are treated fairly, and with dignity and respect, is of paramount importance. She said America is better, stronger and wiser when authentic equality reigns.

WGLT requested comment from State Farm, Saturday afternoon. Tuesday morning, the company issued this response.

"It is important to clarify that the allegations outlined are made by a single individual Dr. Carla Campbell–Jackson and not an organization. These allegations do not align with our values. State Farm is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment, where all customers and associates are treated with fairness, respect and dignity. There has been no legal determination that State Farm has violated any state or federal discrimination law. Because this is a pending matter, we will have no further comment," the company said in a statement.

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