INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s Deputy Director Akia Haynes announced today that GEO Foundation, which operates Gary Middle College in Gary, Indiana, is accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Indiana Civil Rights Law for allegedly terminating their former principal because of his race and gender.

The charge stems from a May 23, 2013 Complaint filed with the Commission that alleges that the Complainant, the former principal at Gary Middle College, was terminated on January 25, 2013 because of his race and gender.

The Complainant was hired in March 2012, and despite never being subjected to prior disciplinary action, received a termination letter on January 25, 2013 stating that among other things, his behavior issues were increasingly harmful. Despite Respondent’s assertions of Complainant’s work performance, there is evidence that Respondent treated Caucasian and female counterparts more favorably by implementing Strategic Plans and affording them opportunities to have Performance Base Compensation Plan.

During the course of the investigation, Respondent was given ample opportunity to answer Complainant’s allegations and to uphold its burden to produce evidence of a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for firing Complainant. Without this evidence, there is probable cause to believe the Complainant was wrongfully terminated on the basis of race and gender as alleged.

In order to prevail in this case, the Complainant must show that: (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he suffered an adverse employment action; (3) he was meeting Respondent’s legitimate business expectations at the time of his termination; and (4) similarly-situated employees of a different race and gender were treated more favorably under similar circumstances.

A finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Manager, at (317) 232-2651.

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