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Black employees of Xerox Corp. have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of racial discrimination. The plaintiffs, all current or former sales representatives, claim they were passed over for promotions, denied commissions and assigned to sales areas that were predominantly black or that were less profitable than white co-workers’ areas. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court on behalf of six black sales representatives from New York, California, Texas and Georgia and seeks class-action status for hundreds of others. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. “Basically, the company would send the whites to Wall Street and all the blacks were sent to Harlem or the Bronx,” said attorney Lenard Leeds. “There was racial steering here, and there was an incredible difference in pay.” Christa Carone, a spokeswoman for the Stamford, Conn.-based company, said Xerox had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on the case. But she said: “We have a well-established and well-recognized tradition of valuing diversity in the workplace.” The allegations are similar to discrimination charges filed earlier this year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Some of the employees in the EEOC case are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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