Saturday, August 14, 1999


Kroger settles Texas discrimination lawsuit

        The Kroger Co. has agreed to pay $240,000 to 21 people as settlement in an age and disabilities discrimination case filed in Texas in February 1998.

        The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, involves men who in 1994 applied for jobs at a Fort Worth-area warehouse acquired by Kroger. The men, over age 40, had worked at the warehouse before it was acquired and were reapplying for their jobs.

        The suit claims Kroger required the applicants to take pre-employment medical tests that involved disclosing medical histories, which is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Kroger declined comment Friday.

Ethicon to break ground on addition, buys land
        Ethicon Endo-Surgery, the Blue Ash manufacturer of minimally invasive surgical devices, will break ground Monday on a 54,000-square-foot addition to its plant at Reed Hartman Highway and Creek Road for increased office space.

        Separately this week, Blue Ash City Council approved the sale of 16.5 acres west of Ethicon's plant to the Johnson and Johnson subsidiary for $900,000. Ethicon plans to use the property for future expansion, said company spokesman Christian Williams.

        Blue Ash City Manager Marvin Thompson said the city assembled the property at Creek and McKinley roads from several owners over the last couple years for $2.5 million.

        Mr. Thompson said the city, which doesn't give tax exemptions, believes the land deal will generate significant new tax revenues for the city in the future.

        The two-story office addition, estimated at more than $5.4 million, will consolidate corporate functions now located off-site.

        Mr. Williams said the addition won't mean more jobs but will allow the company to consolidate corporate office functions now in leased space at the Northmark Business Center and another building on Alliance Road.

Steel bar companies complete alliance
        FAIRLAWN, Ohio — USS-Kobe Steel Co. and Republic Technologies International Inc. said Friday they have completed their alliance, creating a steel bar company with estimated annual sales of $1.4 billion.

        The new venture will have a total steel-making capacity of 3.5 million tons a year, the companies said in a news release.

        Sealing the deal ends a nearly five-month-long process that began in April with the announcement of plans to align USS-Kobe bar steel operations with those at bar producing steel mills held by the New York-based Blackstone Group.

Thomson settles age discrimination lawsuit
        INDIANAPOLIS — Thomson Consumer Electronics has settled an age-discrimination lawsuit with 801 workers who lost jobs in Bloomington and Indianapolis last year, a company spokesman said Friday.

        The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has scheduled a Tuesday news conference to discuss the multimillion-dollar settlement, which still must be approved by U.S. District Judge John Tinder.

        The EEOC filed a class-action lawsuit in June on behalf of the former workers, who claim they got less bonus pay than younger workers under a severance deal worked out by the company and its unions when the plants closed last year.


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