The EEOC announced a $201,000 settlement of a Texas lawsuit on behalf of nine Hispanic employees who claimed a national origin hostile environment at Air Express International and DHL Global Forwarding. There was "intimidation and ridicule,” stated an EEOC attorney, which was “dehumanizing” and “un-American."
It was alleged that Hispanic employees (of Mexican, Salvadoran and Puerto Rican heritage) were constantly called names such as "wetback," "beaner," "stupid Mexican," and "Puerto Rican b—h," were subjected to ethnic slurs such as "salvatrucha" (gangster), and referred to by derogatory ethnic stereotypes (i.e., told they should be outside mowing the grass). Further, supervisors harshly warned bilingual employees not to speak Spanish at work.
The EEOC attorney warned these employers that they "must respond immediately to the multiple reports of harassment and eliminate the problems so as not to permit an atmosphere of contempt and mockery."