U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Blacks Subjected to a Racially Hostile Work Environment, Including Late-Night Death Threats at Victim's Home, Federal Agency Charges
TEXARKANA, Ark. - MMR Constructors, Inc. violated federal law by subjecting African-American employees to a hostile work environment because of their race, including a late-night death threat at one victim's home, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit (Civil Action No. 4:12-cv-04117-SOH, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Texarkana Division), Todd Mosely, who worked as a technician for MMR at the Ash Grove Cement Plant in Foreman, Ark., was subjected to racially offensive language, graffiti and death threats by other employees. Other black employees were also subjected to racially offensive graffiti.
The most serious claim in the EEOC's suit alleges that two of Mosely's white co-workers came to his home late at night and threatened to kill him if he made any more racial harassment complaints against other co-workers or in regards to the racial graffiti. Mosely reported the incident, but MMR refused to take appropriate action against the harassers because the incident occurred away from the work site.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction prohibiting this type of discrimination in the future, and to order MMR to pay Mosely and other African-American employees back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages where applicable.
"Racial harassment too often continues to occur in today's workplaces while employers intentionally look the other way," Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office said. "Employees should not have to endure a racially hostile work environment to earn a living. A case where the victim received death threats at his home, as we found here, is especially abhorrent and unacceptable. The EEOC will continue to fight against this illegal and uncivilized misconduct."
According to company information, MMR Constructors provides specialty contracting services for clients in the oil and gas, manufacturing, chemical, and power generation industries around the world. It also offers services in offshore marine and platform environments.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.