Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A lawsuit claims Eastman Kodak Co. — lauded as a top company for minorities — unfairly distributed raises to women and black workers and required them to waive their right to sue as a condition of receiving pay hikes and promotions. According to the federal discrimination lawsuit filed Friday, Rochester, N.Y.-based Eastman Kodak was more concerned about protecting itself from employee lawsuits than helping about 2,000 workers when it awarded around $13 million in raises to blacks and women in 1999. Executives awarded the pay increases after an internal study found blacks and women had been underpaid for years. But the lawsuit claims that the way Kodak went about awarding the money reflected a pattern of bias and inequality toward blacks. The plaintiffs seek class-action status, unspecified damages and a judicial order barring discrimination. “We’re going to stand and fight, even if it takes us 100 years,” plaintiff and former Kodak employee Olin Singletary, 58, said at a Sunday news conference. According to the lawsuit, Kodak established peer review panels to recommend raises, promotions and changes in work conditions. But the company paid many employees dramatically less than the peer review recommendations and required them to waive their right to sue as a condition of awarding raises, the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit also states that employees were exposed to racial slurs, graffiti and other hostility. Eastman Kodak officials declined to comment directly on the lawsuit but said the company is committed to fairness. “We have practices and polices in place and we vigorously enforce those,” said chief diversity officer Essie Calhoun. “We don’t tolerate discriminatory behavior. We take action when we find it, even to the point of termination.” Racial minorities made up 20 percent of Kodak’s U.S. work force last year. Four of its 11 board members are minorities. Fortune Magazine named Eastman Kodak one of the 50 best companies in the country for minorities the past three years. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.