U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Superintendent Frequently Used Racially Derogatory Terms, Hanging Noose Found at Worksite, Federal Agency Alleged
SAN ANTONIO – AA Foundries, Inc., a local San Antonio manufacturer of ferrous castings and producer of foundry mold machines, racially harassed its African-American employees in violation of federal law, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
The EEOC alleged that African-American employees at AA Foundries employees routinely experienced racial harassment from its superintendent. The harassment included intimidation, insults and ridicule, such as a hanging noose and racially offensive pictures, posters and other types of literature. AA Foundries superintendent frequently used the “N” word and “boy” when addressing or talking about black employees.
Such alleged conduct constitutes a hostile work environment, a form of race-based discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action Number 5:11-cv-792, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the victims, as well as injunctive relief.
“What happened to these workers was disgraceful and illegal,” said EEOC senior trial attorney Eduardo Juarez of the EEOC San Antonio Field Office. “Rather than taking steps to stop the harassment, the company’s officials simply shrugged their shoulders and allowed the conduct to continue. Employers have a responsibility to prevent racial harassment in their workplace.”
EEOC supervisory trial attorney Judith G. Taylor added, “It’s hard to imagine that in the 21st century workers are still finding nooses on the job. The unwanted, intrusive and demeaning behavior to which these employees were subjected has no place in an American workplace, and the EEOC will aggressively seek to make things right for the victims.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.