Agency alleges Wisconsin company discriminated

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A federal agency has filed a lawsuit alleging a Green Bay company fired a group of Hmong and Hispanic employees for lacking English skills they did not need.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit Monday against Wisconsin Plastics Inc., a metal and plastics products manufacturer.

The lawsuit alleges the workers were fired based on 10-minute observations that marked them down for their English skills, even though those skills were not needed to perform their jobs. The agency says those workers had received satisfactory ratings on their annual performance evaluations.

The suit seeks lost wages and punitive damages for the discharged employees.

Wisconsin Plastics says the allegations are false. The company says it has a highly diverse workforce and that there is nothing illegal about its decisions.

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