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May 18, 2005
GE Accused of Discrimination

The chief executive of GE Aviation Materials, a subsidiary of General Electric, has filed a lawsuit accusing the parent company of discriminating against black employees in its pay and promotion practices, USA Today reports.

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In the lawsuit, Marcel Thomas alleges the company pays black managers less, discriminates against black employees in promotions, and retaliates against those who complain.

The company denies the allegations.

"GE flatly denies the allegations in Mr. Thomas's complaint and will clearly defend this lawsuit," GE officials said in a statement. "GE is globally recognized ... as a leader in diversity and has been recognized as such by national awards received for pursuing and promoting diversity excellence in the workplace."

Thomas is asking a judge to grant his lawsuit class-action status and is seeking at least $450 million in back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the class, according to the newspaper.

Thomas continues to work for GE Aviation Materials, which has about 100 employees, according to the newspaper.

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