Employee Fired for Complaining About Color Discrimination, EEOC Charged
SAN JUAN, P.R. -- Koper Furniture, Inc., a furniture company operating in several locations in Puerto Rico, will pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a charge of retaliation at a worksite in San Juan, resolving an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the lawsuit (EEOC v. Koper Furniture, Inc., Case No. 09-1563(JAG)), Jose L. Guadalupe, a dark-skinned Puerto Rican man, was fired in retaliation for complaining to the company about harassment by his supervisor because of his dark skin color.
The consent decree settling the suit was approved on Nov. 7 by U.S. District Court Judge Jay A. Garcia-Gregory. It prohibits Koper Furniture from further retaliating against employees who complain about discrimination. Additionally, the consent decree requires that Koper Furniture amend its current anti-discrimination policy to conform to EEOC policy and to provide four hours of anti-discrimination training to all Koper employees, including management personnel, on a biannual basis.
“We are delighted that this resolution addresses the systemic problems at this workplace that facilitated the discriminatory misconduct,” EEOC Miami District Director Malcolm S. Medley said. “This consent decree benefits all Koper employees.”
Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg of the EEOC’s Miami District Office said, “This consent decree serves to remind employers that the EEOC is vigilant in ensuring that people who engage in legally protected activity – such as standing up to discrimination – are not fired in retaliation.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.