Ford Motor Company says it halted an apprenticeship training program at its manufacturing plants nationwide after the company was accused of discriminating against black employees in choosing who participates.
The automaker says it did nothing wrong, but has agreed with its accusers to a settlement that awaits approval by federal judges in Cincinnati.
The case began when workers at Ford’s Sharonville and Batavia plants complained to federal authorities of discrimination.
The lawsuits and identical settlement proposals in the two cases were filed last week with two federal judges, who could decide to consolidate the cases into one. No hearings have been set.
Lawyers have asked the federal courts to approve the settlement as covering approximately 3,400 black employees of Ford plants nationwide.
If the deal is approved, Ford would make payments to the eligible participants, set aside 279 positions in the apprenticeship training program for blacks and pay their lawyers’ fees. The company operates 36 US plants.