Company Fired Employee Because He Complained Supervisor Used Racial Slurs, Federal Agency Charges
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - George W. Morosani and Associates, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability company headquartered in Asheville, N.C., violated federal law when it fired an employee because he complained that his supervisor used racial slurs, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's complaint, Terrance Stubblefield , who is black, worked for George W. Morosani and Associates as a maintenance helper at Wellington Community Estates in Arden, N.C. The agency alleges that on or about July 27, 2017, the maintenance supervisor called Stubblefield the N-word and accused Stubblefield of complaining about being assigned "N-word work." Stubblefield allegedly complained to a managing member of the company about the use of racial slurs by the maintenance supervisor on that same day. While the managing member stated he would look into the matter and get back to Stubblefield, on August 1, 2017, the managing member notified Stubblefield that he was discharged, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who oppose employment practices made unlawful by Title VII. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division (EEOC v. George W. Morosani and Associates, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-00297) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.
"An employer cannot fire an employee for reporting the use of racial slurs or other discriminatory conduct in the workplace," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "Companies should put their energy into eradicating such misconduct rather than punishing those who expose it. The EEOC will continue to fight for discrimination victims."
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.