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Riceland Foods settles complaint from employee

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Riceland Foods Inc. has agreed to pay $8,500 to resolve a claim that it discharged an employee at its New Madrid, Mo., plant for filing a discrimination complaint.

The ex-employee alleged that a month after he filed his race discrimination claim, he took Family Medical Leave Act leave to care for his mother, according to a news release issued by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. When he returned to work after three days, the company discharged him. The company denied his allegations.

"The Human Rights Act forbids retaliation against an employee for exercising his or her right to file a complaint with the MCHR," said MCHR director Alisa Warren. "Without such protection, employees would be afraid to file discrimination complaints and the law wouldn't have any teeth."

The MCHR is responsible for enforcing the Missouri Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), disability and age (in employment only) and familial status (in housing only). For more information on the MCHR, visit its Web site at www.dolir.mo.gov/hr or call 573-751-3325.

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