The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a discrimination suit against Interplace/Transworld Recruit, a stateside subsidiary of Recruit, the Japanese real estate and personnel-placement company. In the suit, filed on Mar. 11 in San Francisco, the EEOC charges that the employment agency used an elaborate coding system to indicate employer preferences for workers of a particular race, national origin, sex, or age. The company, through its lawyer, declined comment.
According to the EEOC, which has investigated the case for two years, job order forms used the phrases "Talk to Mariko" if the client wanted to hire only a Japanese or "Talk to Mary" if the client was hiring whites only.
Recruit is no stranger to scandal. Charges that the company bribed Japanese government officials helped bring down Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita in 1989.