Construction Company Stopped Providing Work to Concrete Worker Who Filed EEOC Charge, Federal Agency Says
INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis-based construction company unlawfully retaliated against a concrete worker who filed and refused to drop a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to a lawsuit filed by the EEOC on September 29.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Rock Concrete Construction learned of Eric Bufkin’s EEOC charge against a former employer with whom Rock Concrete’s management had a close relationship. Bufkin was asked to drop his charge and advised that failure to do so would impact him negatively. After refusing to drop his charge, he was advised that Rock Concrete no longer had work for him.
Taking adverse actions against an employee who complains of discrimination, files an EEOC charge or otherwise exercises their rights under Title VII violates the retaliation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC asserts that the companies’ actions were intentional and demonstrated a reckless indifference to the worker’s federally protected rights.
The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 1:09-cv-1222 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages against Rock Concrete, as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in future retaliation.
“Employers are simply not entitled to punish employees for complaining about discrimination,” said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.
The EEOC’s Indianapolis Office is located at 101 W. Ohio Street, Suite 1900, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The EEOC’s Louisville Office is located at 600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Place, Suite 268, Louisville, KY 40202. The EEOC’s Cincinnati Office is located at 550 Main Street, Suite 10019, Cincinnati, OH 45202, and the EEOC’s Detroit Office is located at 477 Michigan Avenue, Room 865, Detroit, MI 48226. The EEOC’s toll-free telephone number is (800) 669‑4000, TTY: (317) 226‑5162.