In our blog of July 3d, we wrote that the EEOC has an interesting website that provides a “selected list” of pending and resolved lawsuits brought by the EEOC in which racial harassment under Title VII was alleged. We reviewed some of the offensive, vulgar and illegal comments and behavior which the EEOC claims that employees have been subjected to in the workplace.
The EEOC has just issued a press release which announced a $2.75 million settlement of one of those cases, filed against a Tampa-based environmental clean-up company.
The EEOC alleged that seven African-American employees were subjected to a racially hostile work environment which included the display of multiple hangman's nooses, repeated use of the "N-word," less favorable equipment assignments and physical threats from coworkers. Moreover, four white workers who associated with African-American employees were allegedly subjected to a hostile work environment by having the foreman allegedly call one a "n----r lover" and another a "coon lover." They too were allegedly physically threatened.
In a decision on a motion in that case, the Court stated that the employer did not provide any harassment training to employees, did not provide an internal contact number for filing EEO complaints, and did not post its non-discrimination/harassment policy until the day after the noose was discovered.
Gee – wonder if any of this would have happened, with the employer being forced to pay $2,750,000 in settlement, if they had only read our blog!