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Lawsuit accuses publisher of bias

The federal government on Monday sued a Brandon advertising publisher, charging that The Flyer Publishing Co. of Tampa refused to hire a woman because of her race.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit on behalf of Belinda Chavis, an African-American.

According to the lawsuit, Chavis was qualified for the position of outside sales representative, but was not hired. She reapplied for the position, and was again turned down for less qualified applicants.

The Flyer is a free weekly publication distributed in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Dick Mandt, president of the Flyer, said Monday that he had not seen the lawsuit, and could not comment about it.

The Flyer has discriminated in hiring practices before, dating back to at least December 1989, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against any further discrimination in hiring, ordering the Flyer to adopt policies providing equal employment opportunities for minorities, and back wages for Chavis.

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