Two salesmen allege race and/or age discrimination in a lawsuit against Reynolds and Reynolds Co.
The lawsuit comes one month after the Dayton, Ohio, company announced the appointment of a vice president to direct its diversity efforts.
Attorney James Holman filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on Feb. 5 on behalf of Alphonso Gwin and Keith Bouchelion.
Each plaintiff is seeking damages of more than $1.3 million.
Reynolds spokesman Paul Guthrie said the claim is 'meritless.' He said, 'We will defend our position and assert several counterclaims vigorously.'
In January, the company appointed Kevin Wells vice president of its new Department of Diversity Development. His duties are to help direct internal and external diversity efforts.
In the lawsuit Gwin, 46, alleges age and race discrimination; Bouchelion, 36, alleges race discrimination. Both men, who are black, also say they were the victims of workplace retaliation after filing discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Gwin filed complaints in February 2000 and August 2000; Bouchelion filed complaints in March 2000 and July 2000.
The lawsuit states that both took the jobs with the company because they had been promised management positions that never materialized.
In the lawsuit, Gwin said his supervisors accused him of being 'argumentative, lazy, incompetent and difficult to work with.'
Holman said Gwin was placed on a paid, involuntary leave from work Sept. 1, 2000. Bouchelion continues to work.
Reynolds provides integrated information management services to automobile dealers. It has about 5,000 employees.