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Mesa Systems Sued by EEOC for National Origin Discrimination

Salt Lake City Warehouse Workers Suffered Hostile Work Environment, Agency Charges

DENVER – A Grand Junction, CO-based  moving and storage company violated federal law at its Salt Lake City, UT  warehouse by discriminating against employees because of their national origin,  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed  today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Hispanic  warehouse workers employed at Mesa Systems, Inc. were subjected to  discrimination, including a hostile work environment based on national origin. The employees were subject to slurs, such as “(expletive  deleted) Mexicans,” “(expletive deleted) you, mojado” [wetback], and that the warehouse manager was doing well until  the immigrant employees came. The EEOC  also alleges that employees of various national origins were subject to a  restrictive language policy that had disparate impact against Hispanics and  Asians/Pacific Islanders. The EEOC  further claims that a number of employees suffered retaliation, including  terminations and reductions in hours, after two employee petitions and other  complaints were submitted to management.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil  Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The EEOC  filed suit after first attempting to resolve the case informally through its  conciliation process. The lawsuit, EEOC v. Mesa Systems, Inc., Civil Action  No. 2:11-cv-01201-CW, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah,  Central Division, seeks back pay, lost benefits, compensatory and punitive  damages, and reinstatement for the terminated employees, as well as injunctive  relief, including training, policies, and programs to stop any future  violations of Title VII.

“Offensive slurs and comments deriding one’s national  origin violate Title VII and are never appropriate in the workplace; such  conduct is the very definition of a hostile work environment,” said Mary Jo  O’Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, whose jurisdiction  includes the EEOC’s Denver Field Office.

EEOC Denver Field Office Director  Nancy Sienko said, “The EEOC’s mission to eliminate and prevent all  forms of employment discrimination, including discrimination based on national  origin, remains vital and necessary. We  stand ready to assist employees who believe they have suffered discrimination  and who seek the EEOC’s assistance.”

According to its web site, Mesa  Systems, Inc. delivers premium, customized mobility solutions to a diverse  corporate, commercial, and residential customer base through four  transportation subsidiaries operating in six states.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting  employment discrimination. The Phoenix  District Office covers Utah, Colorado,  Arizona, Wyoming,  and part of New Mexico. Further information is available on the  EEOC’s website at