Company says it discriminates against temps

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jun 07, 2016

For a temp agency owner accused of hiring by race and gender, Mark Morris is unusually candid.

“We’re not completely innocent,” Morris told the nonprofit news organization Oklahoma Watch.

Morris admitted that employees of his Tulsa, Oklahoma, temp agency, Stand-By Personnel, drew up discriminatory job orders, such as one that read, “Good ol’ boy’ as per customer, No B ppl.”

The Oklahoma Watch story was based in part on records and information provided by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, which earlier this year published an investigation that identified dozens of cases of systemic discrimination in the temp industry around the country.

Oklahoma Watch dug up juicy details, including the company owner’s allegation that a state legislator wanted only a certain kind of worker for campaign door-knocking. The news organization details the lawsuits against Stand-By Personnel and interviews black temp workers who say they were affected by discrimination.

Stand-By’s owner blamed any discriminatory hiring on trying to please the customer.

“We didn’t want to hurt their feelings or tell a client that he’s wrong,” Morris said in a separate interview with Reveal.

“There’s a lot of good ol’ boy companies – I shouldn’t say good ol’ boy. There’s still racist companies out there,” he said. “They’re just that way. They’re from the old school, and that’s the way they’re going to die by. So we’re not going to do business with them.”

Will Evans can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @willCIR. The Center for Investigative Reporting is a content partner for the E.W. Scripps Company, which owns this broadcast station and website.