U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(as of June 2012)
Northern Star Hospitality D/B/A Sparx Restaurant: (W.D. Wisc.) filed 3/27/12 by Chicago District Office - The Commission alleges that Sparx, a Menomonie, Wis. restaurant, managers posted racist imagery and then fired an African-American employee after he complained about a picture of African-American actor Gary Coleman and a dollar bill which had been defaced such that a noose was around the neck of George Washington, whose face had been blackened, taped to a cooler in restaurant. The EEOC also alleged that, on the dollar bill, were swastikas and the image of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood. Sparx managers told the Charging Party that they had posted the images the evening before but, when the Charging Party complained, insisted that it was "a joke." The Charging Party was terminated within weeks of complaining about the racist imagery, for allegedly having "a bad attitude."
Sutter Transfer Service: (E.D. Cal.) filed 9/30/11 by San Francisco District Office - The Commission alleges that Yuba City-based Sutter Transfer Service allowed a supervisor to harass employees with racial epithets, including the trucking company's only African-American driver. The driver was targeted by his dispatcher with racially offensive comments such as "coon," "gorilla," "porch monkey," and "n----r." He also heard slurs directed at other ethnic groups, including "raghead," "sand n----r" and "wetback." Other truck drivers witnessed the racial harassment and one even complained to management, but Sutter still failed to take effective action and the harassment continued.
Hamilton Growers, Inc/Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetables: (M.D. Ga.) filed 9/29/11 by the Atlanta District Office - The Commission alleges that Hamilton Growers, Inc., doing business as Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable, Inc., subjected American workers to discrimination based on their national origin at its Norman Park, Ga., location. The company engaged in a pattern or practice of firing virtually all American workers while retaining workers from Mexico during the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons. The Commission alleges the employer fired at least 16 African American workers in 2009 based on race and/or national origin when their termination was coupled with race-based comments by a management official. The lawsuit also alleges the employer provided lesser job opportunities to American workers, which resulted in their earning less pay than their Mexican counterparts, and subjected American workers to different terms and conditions of employment, including less desirable job assignments.
Scully Transportation Services, Inc.: (E.D. Cal.) filed 9/29/11 by Los Angeles District Office - The Commission alleges that since at least 2003, Scully management officials frequently referred to black drivers as "n----rs," East Indian drivers as "Taliban" and "camel jockey," and a Latino manager as "spic." In addition, EEOC alleges that non-white drivers were often treated less favorably than white drivers with respect to certain terms and conditions of their employment, including the types of driving runs they were assigned. Workers who reported the disparity and harassment were met with retaliatory terminations. In February 2011, Miami-based Ryder System assumed ownership of the enterprise. EEOC argues that Ryder is also liable for the discrimination at issue in the case as a successor corporation.
Day & Zimmerman NPS: (E.D.N.Y.) filed 9/29/11 by New York District Office - The Commission alleges that a foreman at Day & Zimmerman's Carlos Poletti Power Plant in Astoria, Queens, subjected an African-American employee to ongoing harassment, including physical harassment. The Commission alleges the misconduct included often kicking the African-American employee in the buttocks and frequently tripping him at work, as well as making racially offensive comments such as "black folks deserve to get shot", "black folks are good at basketball because they can steal and shoot" and "blacks are the worst people in the world." The foreman also told racist jokes in the workplace. The Commission further alleges Day & Zimmerman fired Hughes just two days after he complained about the harassment.
Emmert International: (D. Utah) filed 9/29/11 by Phoenix District Office - The Commission alleges that an Emmert International project superintendent and other employees routinely subjected employees to unwelcome racial harassment, including frequent racial slurs. These actions took place in 2009, when Emmert was working on a project to move Odd Fellows Hall, a nineteenth century building in downtown Salt Lake City. The EEOC alleges that the project superintendent harassed at least one black employee and, when the employee asked him to stop, the superintendent told him he could leave the job if he didn't like it. The EEOC also alleges that Emmert International then isolated that employee and later did not rehire him because of his complaint and because of his race. Emmert International similarly harassed and retaliated against a white employee in an interracial marriage.
U-Haul: (W.D. Tenn.) filed 9/28/11 by Memphis District Office - The Commission alleges that African-American employees, were subjected to racially offensive comments by a white supervisor and other employees. A U-Haul supervisor regularly referred to African-American employees with the "N-word" and used other derogatory slurs. In addition, the EEOC further alleges that a parts room employee subjected the African-American employees to the same offensive behavior by using racial slurs and refusing to let African-Americans enter the parts room.
AA Foundries: (W.D. Tex.) filed 9/23/11 by Dallas District Office - The Commission alleges that African-American employees at AA Foundries routinely experienced racial harassment from its superintendent. The Commission alleges the harassment included intimidation, insults and ridicule, such as a hanging noose and racially offensive pictures, posters and other types of literature. The Commission further alleges that an AA Foundries superintendent frequently used the "N" word and "boy" when addressing or talking about black employees.
A.C. Widenhouse, Inc.: (M.D. N.C.) filed 6/22/11 by Charlotte District Office - The Commission alleges that from as early as May 2007 through at least June 2008, African-American employees were repeatedly subjected to unwelcome derogatory racial comments and slurs by employees and managers at A.C. Widenhouse, Inc. The Commission alleges these comments and slurs included "n----r," "monkey," and "boy." On one occasion the charging party was approached by a co-worker with a noose and was told, "This is for you. Do you want to hang from the family tree?" On another occasion, the company's general manager told the charging party, "We are going coon hunting, are you going to be the coon?" The charging party and other black employees complained to A.C. Widenhouse management and the co-owner of the company about the racial harassment, but the harassment continued.
Swissport Fueling Inc.: (D. Ariz.) filed 9/30/10 by Phoenix District Office - The Commission alleges that Defendant, an airport fueling company, subjected a class of African workers to harassment because of their race, national origin, and/or color and retaliated against them by altering the terms and conditions of their employment, including changing the leave policy, suspending and terminating one class member and constructively discharging another. Swissport also failed to promote a class member based on his race, national origin, and/or color.
Whirlpool Corporation: (M.D. Tenn.) resolved 6/12/12 by Memphis District Office - The Commission alleged that Whirlpool violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it did nothing to stop a white male co-worker at a Whirlpool plant in LaVergne, Tenn., from harassing an African-American female employee because of her race and sex. The abuse lasted for two months and escalated when the co-worker physically assaulted the black employee and inflicted serious permanent injuries. During a four-day bench trial, the court heard evidence that the employee repeatedly reported offensive verbal conduct and gestures by the co-worker to Whirlpool management before she was violently assaulted, without any corrective action by the company. The trial also established that the employee suffered devastating permanent mental injuries that will prevent her from working again as a result of the assault. At the conclusion of the bench trial, the judge entered a final judgment and awarded the employee a total of $1,073,261 in back pay, front pay and compensatory damages on December 21, 2009. Whirlpool filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment on January 15, 2010 which the district court denied on March 31, 2011. On April 26, 2011, Whirlpool appealed the judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The company withdrew its appeal on June 11, 2012 and agreed settle the case with the EEOC and plaintiff intervener for $1 million and court costs. The plant where the discrimination occurred had closed during the litigation period
Couch USA: (M.D. Ala.) resolved 2/2/12 by Birmingham District Office - The Commission alleged Ready Mix USA LLC, doing business as Couch Ready Mix USA LLC subjected a class of African American males at Ready Mix's Montgomery-area facilities to a racially hostile work environment. A noose was displayed in the worksite, derogatory racial language, including references to the Ku Klux Klan, was used by a direct supervisor and manager and that race-based name calling occurred. Ready Mix denies that racial harassment occurred at its worksites. The consent decree settling the suit provides that Ready Mix pay a total of $400,000 in compensatory damages to be apportioned among the seven class members. The two-year decree enjoins Ready Mix from engaging in further racial harassment or retaliation and requires that the company conduct EEO training. Ready Mix will be required to modify its policies to ensure that racial harassment is prohibited and a system for investigation of complaints is in place. The company must also report certain complaints of harassment or retaliation to the EEOC for monitoring.
Findlay Honda: (D. Nev.) resolved 1/23/12 by Los Angeles District Office - The Commission alleged that a parts manager at Shack-Findlay Automotive, LLC, doing business as Findlay Honda and Findlay Automotive Group, Inc., made racially derogatory comments and jokes on a near-daily basis and imposed stricter work-related rules on black employees than non-black employees. Two black employees were eventually fired, one after communicating that he was going to file a discrimination charge against the company. Findlay Honda agreed to enter into a consent decree and pay $150,000 to two black employees. Aside from the monetary relief for the victims, the consent decree also requires that the company hire an outside EEO consultant; distribute its policies and complaint procedures with respect to workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation; track future complaints; and provide annual equal employment opportunity training.
M. Slavin & Sons Inc.: (E.D.N.Y.) resolved 12/16/11 by New York District Office - The Commission alleged that M. Slavin's owners and managers harassed the employees from 1984 onward by physically groping them, making explicit sexual comments and using offensive racial terms such as "n----r" and "African b-----d." Many of the men worked for M. Slavin for 10 to 20 years and endured this treatment because they desperately needed the work. The suit originated from a discrimination charge by a truck loader for Slavin, who reported such abuse. The EEOC's investigation subsequently disclosed that the misconduct was widespread and involved many victims. M. Slavin agreed to pay $900,000, revamp how the company addresses discriminatory harassment and retaliation and submit to 5 years of monitoring by the EEOC.
IDM Group, LTD.: (S.D. Tex.) resolved 9/21/11 by Houston District Office - The Commission alleged that GES Global Energy Services, Inc., (GES) formerly known as IDM Equipment, Inc., subjected African-Americans working at the defendants' Galayda Street plant in Houston to a racially hostile work environment and that three employees were discharged after they complained. Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the suit, the defendants will pay $98,900 in relief, and significant non-monetary relief, including that the defendants' employees at the Galayda Street facility receive periodic training on laws prohibiting employment discrimination and that a non-discrimination notice will be posted in an agreed-upon location there.
New York University: (S.D.N.Y.) resolved 8/12/11 by New York District Office - The Commission alleged that NYU subjected an African-born employee to a hostile work environment that included degrading verbal harassment. The supervisor of the mailroom in NYU's library regularly addressed the employee, a native of Ghana, with slurs such as "monkey" and "gorilla" and insults such as "go back to your cage" and "do you want a banana?" The supervisor also ridiculed the employee's accented English as "gibberish," and expressed hostility toward immigrants, particularly Africans. NYU will pay the employee $210,000 in lost wages and damages, and implement university-wide enhanced policies and complaint procedures.
Williams Country Sausage: (W.D. Tenn.) resolved 8/10/11 by Memphis District Office - The Commission alleged that Williams Country Sausage violated federal law by paying an African-American maintenance worker less than white counterparts and subjecting him to a hostile work environment. The EEOC asserted that Williams Country Sausage gave raises and paid higher salaries to all maintenance department employees except the department's lone African-American employee and allowed a supervisor to regularly use racially offensive language toward the employee because of racial animus. Williams Country Sausage agreed to pay $60,000 to resolve the lawsuit. In addition to monetary relief, the five-year consent decree enjoins Williams Country Sausage from further discriminating against employees on the basis of race. The decree requires annual training on employee rights under Title VII and requires Williams Country Sausage to maintain records of racial harassment complaints and provide annual reports to the EEOC. The decree also requires Williams Country Sausage to establish and enforce a written policy that will ensure that employees are protected from discrimination and post a notice to all employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC's contact information.
Ricoh Americas Corporation: (M.D. N.C.) resolved 6/29/11 by Charlotte District Office - The Commission alleged that Ricoh Americas Corporation subjected three employee to offensive national origin- and race-based harassment, including derogatory comments by the site manager in their location. The harassment was ongoing from approximately June 2006 through October 2009. On a daily or near-daily basis, the site manager made comments to the three employees such as stating that she "hated Puerto Ricans," that "Hispanics are so stupid," "Colombians are good for nothing except drugs," and that "damn, f-----g Africans . . .ain't worth s--t." The three employees complained about the harassment on multiple occasions between 2007 and 2009, both individually and as a group. Despite the complaints, the harassment continued. Around Oct. 30, 2009, the employees were suspended after making a final complaint to Ricoh's management. About three days later, Ricoh fired all three. Ricoh Americas Corporation has agreed to pay $125,000 to the three employees. In addition to providing monetary relief, Ricoh agreed to conduct employee training on its anti-harassment policy and make the policy available to all employees. The company will also report all harassment complaints of race or national origin harassment to the EEOC for the next two years.
Eclipse Advantage: (N.D. Ohio) resolved 5/2/11 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged that Eclipse Advantage, Inc., a transportation, logistics and distribution management company, violated federal law by subjecting an African-American employee to racial discrimination and retaliation at its Aldi Food Service warehouse in Hinckley, Ohio. Eclipse Advantage, agreed to pay $60,000 to the discrimination victim, as part of the two-year consent decree settling the suit, The decree also provides for training of all management staff on employee rights and employer obligations under Title VII with a special emphasis on harassment and racial discrimination; promoting supervisor accountability with regard to racial discrimination, and the posting of notice that will inform employees about the lawsuit and provide the EEOC's contact information.
Ganley dba Frank Nero Lincoln Mercury: (N.D. Ohio) resolved 4/19/11 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged that Ganley's general manager at the time, routinely used derogatory terms to refer to blacks, customers as well as employees, including the epithet "n----r." The general manager, in referring to an older African-American employee, wished the "old n----r ... would hurry up and die." The manager utilized a compensation system that disadvantaged black salespeople with regard to sales opportunities and commissions. The auto dealership agreed to pay $300,000 to four African-Americans to settle the case. In addition to the monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the suit provides for training on employee rights and employer obligations under Title VII, as well as supervisor accountability with regard to racial discrimination. The decree also requires Ganley to post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC's contact information.
Nicolet Staffing: (W.D. Wisc.) resolved 12/21/10 by Chicago District Office - The Commission alleged that the president of the Wisconsin Staffing Services, Inc. d/b/a Nicolet Staffing, Inc, allegedly engaged in repeated, acts of racial harassment toward a Native American employee, including derogatory comments about the employee's "ethnic" appearance, suggestions that she seek alternative employment in personal home care as more consistent with the skills of Native American people, and statements that she did not "fit in" with the white community in Ladysmith, Wis. Despite complaints, the company allowed a non-Native American co-worker to refer to herself at work using the fictitious name "Pink Feather" to mock the Native American employee. Ultimately, Wisconsin Staffing Services forced her out of her job when she refused to comply with a directive from the company president to cut her hair, change her last name, and to stop "rubbing in" her heritage. Wisconsin Staffing Services agreed to pay $20,000 to the Native American employee under a two-year consent decree. The decree enjoins Wisconsin Staffing Services from engaging in discrimination or harassment based on race or retaliation in violation of Title VII. The consent decree also mandates that Wisconsin Staffing will implement and distribute policies prohibiting discrimination and retaliation and set up procedures for receiving and investigating complaints. The company must also provide two hours of training on race discrimination laws to managers and employees and an additional hour of training to any manager designated to investigate discrimination complaints. The company is also required to report to the EEOC about the company's response to any complaints of alleged discrimination and post a remedial notice.
Austin Foam Plastics: (W.D. Tex.) resolved 10/15/10 by Dallas District Office - The Commission alleged that Austin Foam Plastics, Inc., a producer and distributor of corrugated box and cushion packaging, subjected African-American employees to a racially hostile work environment, subjecting two male employees to a sexually hostile work environment and discharging one employee for opposing and reporting the misconduct. The harassment included black employees being routinely subjected to discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, insults, racially offensive comments and jokes, cartoons and images that denigrated African-Americans. A female manager sexually harassed male employees by subjecting them to unwelcome sexual comments and unsolicited physical contact of a sexual nature and that she conditioned more favorable terms of employment on acquiescence to her sexual advances and overtures. The company agreed to pay $600,000 to settle the suit.
Mike Enyart & Sons, Inc.: (S.D. W.V.) resolved 10/6/10 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged that a foreman and co-workers at a South Point, Ohio-based construction company, repeatedly used racially offensive epithets and slurs to charging party and other black persons when charging party worked for the company on a sewer line installation project in White Sulphur Springs, W.V. The harassment included physically threatening and intimidating actions, such as cutting Allen's belt with a knife while Allen was wearing it and showing him a swastika that had been spray-painted onto company equipment. The company will pay $87,205 in lost wages and punitive damages and furnish significant remedial relief, including an offer to hire the charging party a position as a laborer for the first available position after the consent decree takes effect. The consent decree mandates that Mike Enyart & Sons will implement and disseminate policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation and set up procedures for receiving and investigating discrimination complaints. The company must provide training on Title VII to all supervisors and managers and an additional eight hours of training on investigating and taking corrective action regarding discrimination complaints to all employees with those job responsibilities. The company is required to report to the EEOC about the company's response to any complaints of alleged harassment or discrimination and post a remedial notice.
Papermoon: (S.D. Fla.) resolved 9/24/10 by Miami District Office - The Commission alleged that managers at the Papermoon strip club referred to black employees using offensive racial slurs, forced black employees to work in the back of the club instead of at the club entrance, and complained that "black music makes the club look bad." According to the suit, company managers did not stop the harassment, but instead either forced out or fired white employees who opposed the abusive conduct. Under the consent decrees, the owners/operators of the club agreed to pay $95,000, incudes injunctive relief enjoining the company from engaging in further race discrimination; requires the posting of a notice about the settlement; and obligates the company to conduct training and to report information about race discrimination complaints it receives to the EEOC for monitoring.
Mineral Met, Inc.: (N.D. Ohio.) resolved 9/23/10 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged a class of black employees at Mineral Met Mineral Met, Inc. (a division of Chemalloy Company) were subjected to racial hostility and discriminatory behavior at Mineral Met's Cleveland facility. For example, a black Quality Control Supervisor had an excellent performance history, but a white supervisor unfairly disciplined him for trivial matters, such as having facial hair or using a cell phone, even though white co-workers were not reprimanded for doing the same things. Other black employees were also repeatedly cited for alleged policy violations while white employees were not disciplined for engaging in the same behavior. Further, African-American employees were also subjected to other forms of racial harassment, such as a white supervisor placing a hangman's noose on a piece of machinery. Mineral Met agreed to pay $440,000 and agreed to maintain and enforce written policies prohibiting race discrimination, harassment and retaliation; promote manager and supervisor accountability on those policies; provide training to all employees, supervisors and managers at its Cleveland facility on Title VII, with an emphasis on race discrimination; and post a notice informing employees of its commitment to compliance with the statute.
Cintas Fire Protection: (E.D. Pa.) resolved 9/20/10 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged Cintas Corporation, the largest uniform manufacturer in North America and a provider of specialized services to businesses, including fire protection, subjected a class of African- American and male employees to egregious sexual and racial harassment by a co-worker with supervisory responsibilities in the company's fire protection unit, which was then located in Warminster, and is now located in Conshohocken, Pa. The class members worked in the dry cell unit, which refurbishes and refills customers' portable fire extinguishers. The racial harassment included referring to the dry unit as the "ghetto division"; calling black employees nicknames using some derivation of "chocolate" such as "chocolate delicious"; and using a racial epithet to two African-American employees when professing why no one would believe their accounts about the harassment over company witnesses. The company agreed to pay $152,500 in monetary relief to the class members.
YRC/Roadway Express: (N.D. Ill.) resolved 9/15/10 by Chicago District Office - The Commission alleged that the YRC/Roadway Express subjected black employees at its Chicago Heights, Ill., and Elk Grove Village, Ill., facilities to multiple incidents of hangman's nooses, racist graffiti and racist comments, and racist cartoons. Roadway and YRC subjected black employees to harsher discipline and scrutiny than their white counterparts and gave more difficult and time-consuming work assignments to black employees than white employees. The black employees had complained about these conditions over the years, but effective corrective action was not taken. Under the consent decree, YRC/Roadway Express agreed to pay $10 million dollar, and the consent decree enjoins YRC from engaging in discrimination because of race and from retaliating against individuals who complain about racial discrimination; requires the development of revised anti-harassment policies; specific recordkeeping and reporting of complaints; and annual anti-harassment training. The decree also requires YRC to retain consultants to examine the company's discipline and work assignment procedures and recommend changes to prevent racial disparities. Finally, the decree requires the appointment of a monitor to oversee the company's response to complaints and to report on the company's compliance with the decree. The monitor will report semi-annually to the court and to the EEOC.
Elmer W Davis Inc.: (W.D.N.Y.) resolved 9/10/10 by New York District Office - The Commission alleged that black employees at Elmer Davis were subjected to a pattern of race discrimination, including harassment, unfair work assignments, failure to be promoted, and retaliation for complaining about discrimination from at least 1993 through the present. According to dozens of African-American employees, they were constantly subjected to racial slurs by their white foremen. Blacks were routinely referred to as "n----r," "lazy n-----rs," "sambo," "slave," and "monkey." Foremen also frequently made comments like, "All n----rs should get on a boat and go back to Africa." They were also exposed to nooses and racially offensive graffiti like "dirty n----r," "KKK" and swastikas written on the walls of the portable toilets at work sites. Elmer Davis agreed to pay $1 million in monetary relief and will be bound by a five-year consent decree, which enjoins the company from engaging in further race discrimination or retaliation. The decree requires Elmer Davis to hire an EEO Coordinator to provide training, monitor race discrimination complaints, and report to the EEOC on hiring, layoff and promotion.
Yates Construction: (M.D. N.C.) resolved 8/18/10 by Charlotte District Office - The Commission alleged that black employees were repeatedly subjected to the use of racial slurs such as the "N" word, and to racially offensive jokes about African-Americans. The charging party complained about the harassment on at least two occasions in late 2007 and early 2008, but the company failed to stop the harassment. The charging party was discharged in April 2008 in retaliation for his complaints. Yates agreed to pay $30,000 and the consent decree provides for injunctive relief to prevent Yates Construction from further maintaining a racially hostile work environment or engaging in retaliation. The decree also requires the company to post its policy against racial harassment in the workplace; distribute the policy to employees; provide annual, company-wide training on racial harassment to its owners and supervisors; and report future verbal or written complaints of racial harassment or retaliation to the EEOC.
McGriff Industries: (N.D. Ala.) resolved 6/22/10 by Birmingham District Office -The Commission alleged that certain employees and managers of McGriff Industries, Inc. and its subsidiary McGriff Transportation, Inc., which operated a truck transportation facility in Cullman, Ala., routinely used racially derogatory comments, slurs, and insults directed at or about African-Americans. The racial misconduct escalated to threats and intimidation, including a derogatory threat to cut one of the black employees. White and black employees were offended by the racial misconduct, but were rebuffed and retaliated against -- one employee was terminated and another had his work assignments changed -- when they complained. Under he consent decree, McGriff Industries agreed to pay $100,000 to the victims of the discrimination, and includes injunctive terms applicable to each of McGriff's offices, facilities and retail establishments in the state of Alabama.
Affordable Care, Inc.: (M.D. N.C) resolved 6/2/10 by New York District Office -The Commission alleged that Affordable Care, Inc., a national denture provider, created a sexually and racially hostile work environment for an African American, and a white employee, at its office in West Springfield. A dentist, affiliated with Affordable Care, referred to women as "whining b-----s," propositioned a female employee for sex, spanked another female employee repeatedly on the buttocks, made insulting remarks about blacks, and claimed that he had a relative who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Both employees complained repeatedly about the dentist to Affordable Care, but the company failed to stop the harassment. Affordable Care agreed to pay $150,000 to the two employees and furnish other relief.
Professional Building Systems of North Carolina: (M.D. N.C) resolved 4/2/10 by Charlotte District Office -The Commission alleged that at various times between mid-2005 and 2008, black employees were subjected to racial harassment that involved the creation and display of nooses; references to black employees as "boy" and by the "N-word"; and racially offensive pictures such as a picture that depicted the Ku Klux Klan looking down a well at a black man. Managers of Professional Building Systems not only knew about the harassment and took no action to stop or prevent it, but also that a manager was one of the perpetrators of the harassment. Professional Building Systems of North Carolina agreed to pay $118,000 to six African American employees who filed charges and agreed it will provide for injunctive relief to prevent the company from maintaining a racially hostile work environment or engaging in retaliation under Title VII.
Big Lots: (C.D. Cal.) resolved 2/16/10 by Los Angeles District Office - The Commission alleged that Big Lots violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it subjected a black maintenance mechanic and other black employees to race harassment and discrimination at its Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., distribution center. Specifically, the EEOC alleged that an immediate supervisor and co-workers, made racially derogatory jokes, comments, slurs and epithets, including the use of the words "n----r" and "monkey." Despite learning of the harassment, the company took no steps to prevent or correct it. The settlement includes total monetary relief of $400,000 to be paid to least five employees along with a group of unidentified class members. Big Lots also agreed to a two-year consent decree that calls for the implementation of a new policy, training, procedures and court monitoring to address harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
S&H Thomson, Inc. d/b/a/ Stokes-Hodges GM Thomson: (S.D. Ga.) resolved 1/13/10 by Atlanta District Office - The Commission alleged that S&H Thomson, Inc., doing business as Stokes-Hodges Chevrolet Cadillac Buick Pontiac GMC, allowed a white male management consultant to subject an African American sales manager to a racially hostile work environment over a four-month period. The white consultant visited the car dealership three to four times a week and never missed an opportunity to make racially derogatory comments towards the black sales manager. The sales manager was subjected to humiliating and degrading comments every time the consultant visited the dealership and almost always in the presence of other people. After the black sales manager complained about the derogatory comments, two white managers asked the consultant to stop his discriminatory behavior. The consultant ignored their requests to cease and continued to make the derogatory comments at every opportunity. The consent decree settling the suit required the company to pay of $140,000, and included provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and posting of anti-discrimination notices.
Sims Chevrolet: (N.D. Ohio) resolved 1/8/10 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged that since July 2007, Sims Chevrolet subjected a class of African Americans to different terms and conditions of employment and a hostile work environment on the basis of race. The discriminatory conduct included racial epithets, such as repeated use of the N-word, and also involved management making sales team assignments based upon race. Sims retaliated against one of the individuals after he complained about the unlawful discrimination by withholding his wages. Andy Chevrolet, doing business as Sims Chevrolet, agreed to pay $85,000 to five discrimination victims. In addition to monetary relief, the consent decree provides for significant remedial relief, including revising the company's non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and complaint procedures; promoting supervisor responsibility and accountability; and requiring yearly anti-discrimination training.
Albertsons LLC: (D. Colo.) resolved 12/15/09 by Phoenix District Office - The Commission filed three employment discrimination lawsuits against Albertsons, LLC, a national grocery chain. The first lawsuit alleged a pattern or practice of workplace harassment and discrimination based on race, color and national origin at its Aurora, Colorado distribution center. Minority employees were repeatedly subjected to derogatory comments and graffiti. Blacks were termed "n-----s" and Hispanics termed "s---s," among other offensive epithets. Offensive graffiti included racial and ethnic slurs, depictions of lynchings, swastikas, and white supremacist and anti-immigrant statements. The graffiti in a commonly used men's room was so offensive that several employees would relieve themselves outside the building or go home at lunchtime rather than use the restroom. Some of this graffiti remained for years until the restroom was remodeled in 2005. Minority employees were given harder work assignments and were more frequently and severely disciplined than their white co-workers. Managers were aware of, and even participated in, the harassment and discrimination. The second lawsuit alleged that dozens of employees complained about the discriminatory treatment and harassment and were subsequently given the harder job assignments, were passed over for promotion and even fired as retaliation. The third case alleged race discrimination on behalf of a single African American employee at the distribution center who was terminated. Albertson's agreed to will pay $8.9 million and furnish other relief to settle the three lawsuits. The monetary relief will be distributed among 168 former and current employees.
GMRI, Inc. d/b/a Bahama Breeze: (N.D. Ohio) resolved 12/11/09 by Philadelphia District Office - The Commission alleged that Bahama Breeze managers committed numerous and persistent acts of racial harassment against black employees, including frequently addressing black staff with slurs such as "n….r," "Aunt Jemima," "homeboy," "stupid n….r," and "you people." Additionally, managers allegedly imitated what they perceived to be the speech and mannerisms of black employees, and denied them breaks while allowing breaks to white employees. Despite the employees' complaints to management, the alleged race-based harassment continued. Bahama Breeze agreed to pay $1,260,000 and it will provide significant remedial relief in a case alleging repeated racial harassment of 37 black workers at the company's Beachwood, Ohio location.
NPMG Acquisition Sub LLC: (D. Ariz.) resolved 9/15/09 by Phoenix District Office - The Commission alleged that NPMG Acquisition Sub, LLC, a Phoenix credit card processing company, allowed two supervisors at NPMG create and perpetuate a racially hostile work environment against black employees. The racially hostile workplace included severe verbal abuse consisting of numerous racial slurs and epithets. The EEOC's suit was filed on behalf of three African American discrimination victims and a class of nine similarly aggrieved employees. NPMG agreed to pay $415,000 and furnish significant remedial relief. In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree provides for extensive remedial relief, including a written apology to the victims on company letterhead; anti-discrimination training; written anti-discrimination policies; discipline of discriminatory conduct and the posting of notices.
Patterson-UTI Drilling Company: (D. Colo.) resolved 8/7/09 by Phoenix District Office - The Commission alleged that a Native American, employed with Patterson-UTI Drilling Company from July through November 2005 as a floor hand or "rough neck" on a drilling rig in Gilcrest, Colo., was subjected to harassment based on his Native American race. The Native American employee was subjected to a workplace fraught with racial slurs and derogatory comments reflecting negative stereotypes of Native Americans, including calling him derogatory names. The victim's work was hyper-scrutinized by his supervisor, who also made repeated negative comments to the victim in an effort to "run him off." Under the settlement, Patterson will pay the victim $45,000 and for three years will provide annual training for all of its Colorado employees on prohibited racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
Stanley Furniture: (M.D. N.C.) resolved 7/20/09 by Charlotte District Office - The Commission alleged that at various times between 2004 and August 2006, three black production workers were subjected to racial harassment in the form of racial slurs directed at them. The racial slurs included references to African Americans as "monkeys," statements that blacks should "go back and see [their] ancestors in the jungle," and name-calling, including the use of the "N-word." Stanley Furniture was aware of the racial harassment and took no action to stop or prevent it. The owners of the Lexington, N.C. furniture store will pay $80,000 and furnish significant injunctive relief to settle the lawsuit
Talbert Building Supply: (M.D. N.C) resolved 5/22/09 by Charlotte District Office -The Commission alleged that Talbert subjected a black worker to a racially hostile work environment. The black employee was subjected to explicit racial slurs as well as racial jokes and derogatory stereotypes about blacks. The harassment occurred almost daily over a period of two years from March 2005 through February 2007. Under the consent decree the company will pay $80,000 in compensatory damages. The three-year consent decree includes injunctive relief enjoining Talbert Building Supply from engaging in racial harassment or retaliation and requiring the company to conduct anti-discrimination training; post a notice about the settlement; redistribute its policies prohibiting racial harassment and report certain complaints of harassment to the EEOC for monitoring.
Jack In The Box: (M.D. Tenn.) resolved 5/15/09 by Memphis District Office - The Commission alleged that Jack in the Box subjected a hostess to harassment because of her race (white) at its restaurant in Nashville, and failed to take prompt action to end the harassment when she complained about it. Several African American coworkers repeatedly called the white employee by obscene racial epithets. They also allegedly further insulted her when they learned she was pregnant with a mixed-race baby. Jack in the Box will pay $20,000 compensatory damages and provide other relief, which requires that Jack in the Box provide employment discrimination awareness training to all of its employees, supervisors, and management at the restaurant where the white employee was employed. Additionally, the restaurant will maintain records of all complaints made of racial harassment at the restaurant where she was employed and submit reports to the Commission regarding these complaints.