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PRESS RELEASE
3-23-20

TGS Garage & Doors to Pay $55,000 to Settle EEOC Race Harassment Suit

Garage Door Sales and Repair Company Subjected its Only Black Service Technician to a Hostile Work Environment, Agency Charged

NEWARK, N.J. - TGS Garage & Doors, a company that sells, installs and repairs garage doors and garage door openers in central New Jersey, will pay $55,000 and provide other relief to settle a race harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

According to the EEOC's suit, TGS subjected its only black service technician to racial harassment. His supervisor and co-workers made comments about his skin color, used racial slurs, and frequently made racist jokes. In response to a racist comment made in a meeting in front of the general manager of the company, the general manager laughed rather than taking corrective action. The racist environment was egregious enough the technician was forced to resign, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, which includes subjecting employees to a racially hostile work environment. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (EEOC v. Total Garage Solutions Limited Liability Company d/b/a TGS Garage & Doors, Civil Action No. 19-18965) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

Under the three-year consent decree resolving the case, TGS will pay $55,000 in back pay and damages to the technician. The company is also prohibited from allowing employees to be subject to a hostile work environment based on race.  TGS will create an antidiscrimination policy and complaint procedure and will train its employees on federal antidiscrimination laws. The EEOC will be able to monitor TGS's compliance with the consent decree for the length of its term.

"No one should have to work in an environment of casual racism," said EEOC New York Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein. "We are pleased TGS has opted to resolve this suit without further litigation."

EEOC's New York Acting District Director Judy Keenan said, "All employers must ensure their workplace is free of racial discrimination and harassment."

The EEOC's New York District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in New York, northern New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.