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AJC settles discrimination suit

The Justice Department has announced that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has agreed to settle a pair of work-place discrimination claims levied against the paper in 1999.

Pursuant to the settlement, the AJC paid more than $81,000 in back pay and penalties and corrected its hiring practices to the satisfaction of Justice Department officials, said AJC general manager John Mellott. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had lodged complaints against the newspaper when it learned the publication had improperly rejected two applicants' identification documents when the pair had applied for positions within the company.

"We have a decentralized hiring structure here and we had a supervisor who, in the administration of the I-9 (immigration) form ... requested more documents than what were required," Mellott said. "It's not a complex violation, but a violation nonetheless."

Mellott said the newspaper has paid the civil penalty and the workers' back pay. Both applicants remain on the AJC staff.

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