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Class-action suit filed against state of Iowa


A class-action trial began on Monday, September 12 against the state of Iowa, according to reports.

The trial alleges the state is guilty of discrimination during the last several years, when it failed to hire thousands of African Americans. The case had been put on hold while the state claimed it was too broad to be legally viable. However, a judge dismissed this claim, allowing the trial to begin.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2007 and was later expanded and certified as a class-action suit in 2010. In all, the case has 32 plaintiffs who allege they were discriminated against when they sought employment or promotions through the state. According to the plaintiff's attorney, Thomas Newkirk, the lawsuit encompasses more than 20,000 employment applications and 6,000 African American Iowa workers who had been discriminated against beginning in 2003.

"It is also the mission of this class and counsel to see affirmative action administered in the way it was intended - not as some quota or goal - but as a serious, methodical process to overcome bias in all forms," Newkirk said.

The case highlights the importance of any company or system adopting legal business practices, which include avoiding discrimination. Failure to do so can result in a similar expensive professional liability lawsuit and a damaged reputation. 

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