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Sega, Spherion to Settle Discrimination Case

March 26, 2004|From Times Wire Services

Sega of America Inc., the San Francisco subsidiary of Japanese game maker Sega Corp., and Spherion Corp. agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a U.S. lawsuit accusing the companies of firing 18 Filipino game testers because of their ethnicity.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the workers were temporary employees of Spherion, a staffing services company, who were placed at Sega's testing department. After a Sega employee complained about the jobs going to Filipinos, Sega told Spherion not to send Filipino game testers. Eighteen workers were fired.

The 18 Filipino employees will be paid $456,000 from Sega and $144,000 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Spherion for back pay and emotional distress. The workers earned $12 to $15 a hour, said Cindy O'Hara, EEOC senior trial attorney. Without admitting guilt, both companies agreed to conduct training to prevent future discrimination.

Spherion spokesman Kip Havel wouldn't discuss details of the case, but he said the settlement "does not assume any liability on Spherion's part."

Representatives from Sega were not available for comment.

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Bloomberg News and Associated Press were used in compiling this report.

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