EEOC Settles Discrimination Case for $11 Million
Charges of discrimination can be enormously expensive, even if a lawsuit never goes to trial. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently settled a racial-harassment and discrimination case against a Fortune 500 transportation company for $11 million. The settlement will benefit as many as 324 African Americans who worked at one of the company’s Chicago-area facilities from 2004 to 2009. The EEOC is pointing to the case as “further indication that the EEOC has the resources and determination necessary to litigate large class actions.” The EEOC also settled a similar case against the company two years ago for $10 million, bringing the total the company has had to pay for alleged racial harassment and discrimination at two of its Chicago-area facilities to $21 million.
The EEOC charged that black employees working at the facility’s dock and yard were subject to outrageous forms of discrimination, including repeated incidents involving hangman’s nooses and racist graffiti, cartoons and comments. The Commission was also prepared to present evidence showing that black and white employees were treated in statistically significant ways, with black employees being given more difficult and time-consuming work assignments and receiving harsher discipline and greater scrutiny. According to the lawsuit, many black employees had complained about this treatment, but the company did not take effective action.
The claimants include dockworkers, clerical workers and supervisors. The EEOC warned that “[e]mployers should not believe that, because they are in an industry — like trucking — that is known for rough working conditions, they can ignore discrimination when it arises.” The settlement also requires the company to hire consultants to examine and recommend changes to the company’s procedures, and it enjoins the company from engaging in any further discrimination or retaliation against employees who complain about racial bias.
WeComply’s course in preventing discrimination and harassment takes a proactive approach to helping prevent potentially costly problems.Categories: Discrimination & Harassment Compliance
Tags: Preventing Discrimination and Harassment