In enforcing Title VII's prohibition of race and color discrimination, the EEOC has filed, resolved, and adjudicated a number of cases since 1964. Under the E-RACE Initiative, the Commission continues to be focused on the eradication of race and
color discrimination from the 21st century workplace and is seeking to retool its enforcement efforts to address contemporary forms of overt, subtle and implicit bias. Below is an inexhaustive list of significant EEOC private or federal sector cases
from 2003 to present. These cases illustrate some of the common, novel, systemic and emerging issues in the realm of race and color discrimination.
In December 2012, a South Dallas, TX mill agreed to pay $500,000 to a class of 14 Black employees to settle an EEOC race discrimination suit alleging that the mill exposed Black employees to violent, racist graffiti and racial slurs by
co-workers, such as "KKK," swastikas, Confederate flags, "white power" and other racist terms, including "die, n----r, die," as well as the display of nooses at an employee workstation. Black employees alleged that the supervisors allowed the
behavior to continue unchecked. The consent decree permanently enjoins the company from discriminating against employees on the basis of race and requires the company to enact a graffiti abatement policy and undergo annual reviews of its compliance
for two years EEOC v. Rock-Tenn Services Co., No. 3:10-cv-01960 (N.D. Tex. filed Sep. 29, 2012).
In November 2012, a federal court ordered Caldwell Freight Lines, a now defunct company, to pay $120,000 to settle a race discrimination complaint stemming from its alleged refusal to hire Black applicants to work on its loading dock even though
it is no longer in business. According to the EEOC's lawsuit, 51 African American applicants sought work with Caldwell Freight and none was hired even though many had previous dock experience and were qualified for the positions. An EEOC
investigation revealed that the company hired no Black dock workers during the period studied and that one high-level manager allegedly said he "didn't want any [B]lacks on the dock." Under the terms of the consent decree, if the company resumes
operations, it will have to implement an anti-discrimination policy and report to the EEOC all discrimination complaints and information regarding its hiring practices during the term of the decree. EEOC v. Caldwell Freight Lines,
Case No. 5:11CV00134 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 3, 2012).
In October 2012, a federal district court in Texas ordered AA Foundries Inc. to take specific measures to prevent racial harassment of Black employees at its San Antonio plant following a $200,000 jury verdict finding the company liable for race
discrimination under Title VII. According to the EEOC, evidence at trial indicated that a White supervisor used "the N word" in reference to Black employees, called male Black employees "motherfucking boys," posted racially tinged materials in an
employee break room, and accused Black employees of "always stealing and wanting welfare." After several employees filed racial harassment charges with the EEOC, a noose was displayed in the workplace. When some employees complained, the supervisor
allegedly replied the noose was "no big deal" and that workers who complained were "too sensitive." Additionally, at trial, he also admitted it did not bother him to hear racially derogatory language in the workplace. In a judgment entered Oct. 9,
the district court upheld the jury verdict that AA Foundries must pay punitive damages of $100,000 to former employee Christopher Strickland, $60,000 to former employee Leroy Beal, and $40,000 to former employee Kenneth Bacon. Because trial evidence
also showed that AA Foundries lacked effective internal procedures to handle discrimination complaints, it must conduct at least one hour of equal employment opportunity training for all employees within 60 days of the court's Oct. 9 order. The
company must distribute copies of its revised written anti-harassment policy to all current and future employees and post the policy in the break room of its San Antonio manufacturing facility. Every employee shall be notified of the procedure for
initiating racial harassment or other bias complaints, including notice of their right to file EEOC charges if the company does not resolve their complaint. EEOC v. AA Foundries Inc., No. 11-792 (W.D. Tex. judgment and injunction
entered Oct. 9, 2012).
In September 2012, two California-based trucking firms agreed to settle for $630,000 an EEOC lawsuit alleging one company violated Title VII by permitting the harassment of African American, Latino, and East Indian workers and by otherwise
discriminating based on race, national origin, and religion. In its original complaint, EEOC alleged that since at least 2003, management officials and employees at Scully Distribution referred to Black drivers as "niggers," East Indian drivers as
"Taliban" and "camel jockeys," and a Latino manager as a "spic." EEOC also charged Scully gave non-White drivers less favorable job assignments than their White counterparts. EEOC claimed Scully also fired one of the three employees who filed EEOC
charges complaining about the alleged harassment in retaliation for his protected activity. Scully denied all of EEOC's allegations, but it and its successor Ryder System Inc. agreed to resolve the suit. EEOC v. Scully Distribution
Servs. Inc., No. 11-cv-08090 (C.D. Cal. proposed consent decree filed Sep. 25, 2012).
In August 2012, a Tampa, Fla.-based environmental services company agreed to settle a race discrimination and harassment case brought by the EEOC and eleven intervening plaintiffs for $2,750,000 and other relief. In the lawsuit, EEOC alleged that
the harassment of African American employees included multiple displays of nooses, the repeated use of the "N-word," and physical threats. The EEOC also claimed that four White employees were harassed by their White co-workers because they
associated with African-American employees. Two African-American employees also alleged they were fired because of their race and two White employees asserted they were fired for engaging in protected activity and in retaliation for associating with
African-American employees. At summary judgment, the district court denied in part the company's motion, stating that the company ignored both the extreme symbolism of a noose and that a reasonable jury could conclude that the worksite had at least
some racial tension given the other nooses, threats, and racial epithets that each African-American employee experienced, and that the noose was intended to intimidate all African-Americans. The court also found that a reasonable jury could decide
that Defendant failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent or remedy the harassment since it did not distribute its written policy forbidding racial harassment to its employees, post it at the job-site, or train the employees about what
constitutes harassment and how to report it. The court, however, determined that Defendant was entitled to summary judgment on the hostile work environment claims brought on behalf of the White employees because injury must be personal and thus a
White employee cannot sue for harassment of African-American employees that the White employee happened to see. Lastly, intervening Plaintiff provided direct evidence that the supervisor who fired him did so because of his race (through the
supervisor's comment that he could get rid of "that . . . nigger. 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110149 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 27, 2011). Although the company denied liability for the harassment, the three-year consent decree enjoins the company from engaging in
further retaliation, race discrimination, or racial harassment, including associational bias. The company also must revise its anti-discrimination policy; provide employee training on the revised policy; and develop a procedure for investigating
complaints of race discrimination and harassment and evaluating supervisors' compliance with the revised anti-discrimination policy. EEOC v. WRS Infrastructure and Env't Inc. d/b/a WRS Compass, No. 1:09-cv-4272 (N.D. Ill. consent
decree filed Aug. 23, 2012).
In June 2012, Yellow Transportation Inc. and YRC Inc. agreed to settle for $11 million an EEOC suit alleging that the trucking companies permitted the racial harassment of Black employees at a now-closed Chicago Ridge, Ill., facility. The
proposed consent decree would settle both EEOC's suit and a private suit filed in 2008 by 14 Black employees under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. § 1981), which were consolidated for purposes of settlement. In its complaint, the EEOC
claimed that Black employees at the Chicago Ridge facility, which closed in 2009, were subjected to multiple incidents of hangman's nooses and racist graffiti, comments, and cartoons. EEOC claimed that Yellow and YRC also subjected Black employees
to harsher discipline and closer scrutiny than their White counterparts and gave Black employees more difficult and time-consuming work assignments. Although numerous Black employees complained about these conditions, Yellow and YRC failed to act to
correct the problems, EEOC alleged. The court granted preliminary approval of a proposed consent decree, but it must grant final approval following a fairness hearing before the decree takes effect. EEOC v. Yellow Transp. Inc., No.
09 CV 7693 (N.D. Ill. preliminary approval granted June 28, 2012).
In January 2012, Pepsi Beverages Company, formerly known as Pepsi Bottling Group, agreed in a post-investigation conciliation to pay $3.13 million and provide training and job offers to victims of the former criminal background check policy to
resolve an EEOC charge alleging race discrimination in hiring. "The EEOC's investigation revealed that more than 300 African Americans were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check policy that disproportionately excluded
Black applicants from permanent employment. Under Pepsi's former policy, job applicants who had been arrested pending prosecution were not hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense." Additionally, "Pepsi's former
policy also denied employment to applicants from employment who had been arrested or convicted of certain minor offenses. The use of arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
when it is not relevant for the job, because it can limit the employment opportunities of applicants or workers based on their race or ethnicity."
In December 2011, a New York City retail-wholesale fish market agreed to pay $900,000 and institute anti-discrimination measures to settle an EEOC lawsuit charging it with creating a hostile work environment for Black and African male employees.
The lawsuit alleged that management at the company's Brooklyn facility routinely subjected more than 30 Black and African male loaders and drivers to sexual and racial harassment and retaliated against employees who complained. The harassment was
both physical and verbal and included offensive comments based on race and national origin such as "nigger" and "African bastard" as well as explicit sexual expressions. The Commission also alleged that the company engaged in retaliation against
workers who joined in the complaint. In addition to the monetary relief, M. Slavin agreed to submit to 5 years of monitoring by the EEOC; retain an independent EEO coordinator to investigate complaints; conduct one-on-one training for the worst
harassers; and provide annual training for all staff. EEOC v. M. Slavin & Sons Ltd., No. 09-5330 (E.D.N.Y. filed consent decree 12/15/11).
- In December 2010, Roadway Express, a less-than-truckload motor carrier with terminals throughout North America, settled the claims of two lawsuits alleging racial harassment of Black employees and race discrimination in terms and conditions of
employment at two Illinois facilities. The claims included: (1) awarding Black employees less favorable assignments (both terminals); (2) assigning them more difficult and demanding work (both terminals); (3) enforcing break times more stringently
(Chicago Heights); (4) subjecting their work to heightened scrutiny (Chicago Heights); and (5) disciplining them for minor misconduct (both terminals). Roadway also assigned Chicago Heights employees to segregated work groups. The 5-year decree,
which applies to Roadway and YRC, Roadway's identity after it merged with Yellow Transportation, includes $10 million in monetary relief, $8.5 million to be paid upon preliminary approval of the decree and the remainder in three subsequent
installments due on or before November 1 of 2011, 2012, and 2013. In addition to prohibiting race discrimination and retaliation against Black employees at YRC's Chicago Heights facility, the decree also requires YRC to provide all Chicago Heights
employees annual training on racial harassment and race discrimination and engage a Work Assignment Consultant and a Disciplinary Practice Consultant to assist it in reviewing and revising the company's work assignment and disciplinary policies and
practices at the Chicago facility. EEOC v. Roadway Express, Inc., and YRC, Inc., Nos. 06-CV-4805 and 08-CV-5555 and Bandy v. Roadway Express, Inc., and YRC, Inc., No.
10-CV-5304 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2010).
- In October 2010, Austin Foam Plastics, Inc., (AFP) a producer and distributor of corrugated box and cushion packaging, agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve a number of racial and sexual harassment charges. In pertinent part, the EEOC alleged that
Black employees at AFP were subjected to intimidation, ridicule, insults, racially offensive comments and jokes, and cartoons and images that denigrated African-Americans. White employees and managers regularly emailed racially derogatory jokes,
cartoons, and other materials to coworkers, and posted racially offensive photographs on the bulletin board outside the human resources office. They also engaged in threatening and intimidating conduct toward Black employees, such as tampering with
the brake lines and air hoses of one CP's truck. The 2-year consent decree also enjoins race and sex (male) discrimination under Title VII, as well as retaliation. Defendant will submit to EEOC an EEO policy that prohibits race and sex
discrimination and retaliation. Defendant will file annual audit reports with the EEOC summarizing each complaint of race or sex (male) discrimination, or retaliation, it receives at its Pfluggerville, Texas location and its disposition.
EEOC v. Austin Foam Plastics, Inc., No. 1:09-CV-00180 (W.D. Tex. Oct. 15, 2010).
- In September 2010, a mineral company agreed to pay $440,000 and other relief to settle a class race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. Allegedly, the company disciplined an African-American quality control supervisor for having facial hair
and using a cell phone during work, while Caucasian employees were not reprimanded for similar conduct. In addition to management subjecting the Black supervisor to heightened and unfair scrutiny, the company moved his office to the basement, while
White employees holding the same position were moved to higher floors. Other African-American employees were subjected to racial harassment, such as a White supervisor placing a hangman's noose on a piece of machinery. EEOC v. Mineral
Met, Inc., No. 1:09-cv-02199 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 23, 2010).
- In August 2010, the EEOC and the largest commercial roofing contractor in New York state settled for $1 million an EEOC suit alleging the company discriminated against a class of Black workers through verbal harassment, denials of promotion, and
unfair work assignments. According to the lawsuit, EEOC alleged from at least 1993 to the present, a White foreman repeatedly used racial slurs toward Black workers, that the company assigned Black employees to the most difficult, dirty, and least
desirable jobs, that the roofing contractor systematically excluded Black employees from promotion opportunities, and that the company retaliated against those who complained. Additionally, nooses were displayed and portable toilets featured
racially offensive graffiti with swastikas and "KKK" references at the job sites, EEOC alleged. Although it admitted no wrongdoing and said that it settled the case for financial reasons, the company agreed to hire an equal employment opportunity
coordinator to provide employee EEO training, monitor future race discrimination complaints, and file periodic reports with EEOC regarding hiring, layoffs, and promotions. EEOC v. Elmer W. Davis Inc., No.
07-CV-06434 (W.D.N.Y. consent decree filed Aug. 10, 2010).
- In December 2009, a national grocery chain paid $8.9 million to resolve three lawsuits collectively alleging race, color, national origin and retaliation discrimination, affecting 168 former and current employees. According to the lawsuits,
minority employees were repeatedly subjected to derogatory comments and graffiti. Blacks were termed "n-----s" and Hispanics termed "s---s;" offensive graffiti in the men's restroom, which included racial and ethnic slurs, depictions of lynchings,
swastikas, and White supremacist and anti-immigrant statements, was so offensive that several employees would relieve themselves outside the building or go home at lunchtime rather than use the restroom. Black and Hispanic employees also were
allegedly given harder work assignments and were more frequently and severely disciplined than their Caucasian co-workers. Lastly, EEOC asserted that dozens of employees complained about the discriminatory treatment and harassment and were
subsequently given the harder job assignments, were passed over for promotion and even fired as retaliation. EEOC v. Albertsons LLC, Civil Action No. 06-cv-01273, No. 08-cv-00640, and No. 08-cv-02424 (D. Colo
- In May 2009, an Illinois construction company agreed to pay $630,000 to settle a class action race discrimination suit, alleging that it laid off Black employees after they had worked for the company for short periods of time, but retained White
employees for long-term employment. The three-year consent decree also prohibits the company from engaging in future discrimination and retaliation; requires that it implement a policy against race discrimination and retaliation, as well as a
procedure for handling complaints of race discrimination and retaliation; mandates that the company provide training to employees regarding race discrimination and retaliation; and requires the company to provide periodic reports to the EEOC
regarding layoffs and complaints of discrimination and retaliation. EEOC v. Area Erectors, Inc., No. 1:07-CV-02339 (N.D. Ill. May 29, 2009).
- In August 2008, a tobacco retail chain agreed to pay $425,000 and provide significant remedial relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit on behalf of qualified Black workers who were denied promotion to management positions. The three-year
consent decree also requires the company, which has stores in Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi, to train all managers and supervisors on preventing race discrimination and retaliation; create job descriptions for manager and assistant manager
positions that outline the qualifications for each position; develop a written promotion policy that will include the procedures by which employees will be notified of promotional opportunities; report assistant manager and manager vacancies, the
name and race of all applicants for the position, and the name of the successful candidate; report the names of all African Americans who are either hired or promoted to manager or assistant manager positions; and report any complaints of race
discrimination and describe its investigation in response to the complaint. EEOC v. Tobacco Superstores, Inc., No. 3:05 CV 00218 (E.D. Ark. settled Aug. 2008).
- In July 2008, a Chicago-based leading chemical manufacturer of high-quality surfactants, polymers, chemical specialties and cosmetic preservatives paid $175,000 to settle a class race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
According to the lawsuit, a class of African American employees had been subjected to race discrimination, racial harassment, and retaliation for complaining about the misconduct. The company agreed to conduct EEO training and refrain from future
acts of discrimination and retaliation. EEOC v. McIntyre Group, Ltd., No. 07 C 5458 (N.D. Ill. settled July, 2008).
- In May 2008, the EEOC obtained a settlement of $1.65 million in a racial harassment case filed against a general contractor and its subsidiaries on behalf of a class of African American employees who were subjected to egregious racial harassment
at a construction site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The harassment included a life size noose made of heavy rope hung from a beam in a class member's work area for at least 10 days before it was removed; the regular use of the "N-word"; racially
offensive comments made to Black individuals, including "I think everybody should own one" and "Black people are no good and you can't trust them" and "Black people can't read or write." Additionally, racist graffiti was written in portable toilets,
with terms such as "coon"; "if u not White u not right"; "White power"; "KKK"; and "I love the Ku Klux Klan." Additional remedies were injunctive relief enjoining each defendant from engaging in racial harassment or retaliation; anti-discrimination
training; the posting of a notice about the settlement; and reporting complaints of racial harassment to the EEOC for monitoring. EEOC v. Conectiv,et al. Civil Action No. 2:05-cv-00389 (E.D. Pa. settled May 5,
- In August 2007, a renowned French chef agreed to pay $80,000 to settle claims that his upscale Manhattan restaurant discriminated against Hispanic workers and Asian employees from Bangladesh in job assignments. The aggrieved employees alleged
that they were restricted to "back of the house" positions such as busboys and runners and refused promotions to "front of the house" positions such as captains, which instead went to Caucasian workers with less experience and seniority. They also
alleged that they were subjected to racial insults and harassment when they complained. EEOC v. Restaurant Daniel, No. 07-6845 (S.D.N.Y. August 2, 2007).
- In June 2007, EEOC obtained $500,000 from a South Lyon, Mich., steel tubing company, which, after purchasing the assets of its predecessor company, allegedly refused to hire a class of African American former employees of the predecessor. Though
the company hired 52 of its predecessor's former employees, none of them were Black. EEOC charged that many of the White employees hired had significantly less experience than the Black former employees represented by the EEOC, and in some cases had
actually been trained by the same African American employees who were denied hire. The suit also included other Black applicants who were denied hire in favor of less qualified White applicants. EEOC v. Michigan Seamless Tube,
No. 05-73719 (E.D. Mich. June 8, 2007).
- In February 2007, EEOC obtained a $5 million settlement resolving two consolidated class action employment discrimination lawsuits against a global engine systems and parts company, asserting that the company engaged in illegal discrimination
against African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians at its Rockford and Rockton, Ill., facilities with respect to pay, promotions and training. EEOC v. Woodward Governor Company, No. 06-cv-50178 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 2007).
- In August 2006, the Commission settled this Title VII lawsuit alleging that since at least 1991, defendant, a manufacturer of precision metal-formed products and assemblies, failed to hire women and Blacks into laborer and machine operator
positions at its plant because of their sex and race for $940,000. The complaint also alleged that defendant failed to retain employment applications. The 39-month consent decree requires defendant to consider all female and Black applicants on the
same basis as all other applicants, to engage in good faith efforts to increase recruitment of female and Black applicants, and to submit semiannual reports to EEOC that include applicant flow and hiring data by race and sex.EEOC v.
S&Z Tool Co., Inc., No. 1:03CV2023 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 16, 2006).
- In August 2006, a major national public works contractor paid $125,000 to settle race, gender, national origin and religious discrimination and retaliation lawsuits brought by EEOC on behalf of a class of Black, Asian, and female electricians
who were subjected to daily harassment due to their race, national origin, and/or gender by their immediate foremen, racial and otherwise offensive graffiti in plain sight at the workplace, and retaliation for complaining. EEOC v.
Amelco, No. C 05-2492 MEJ (N.D. Cal. Aug. 22, 2006).
- In June 2005, EEOC obtained an $8 million dollar settlement from Ford Motor Co. and a major national union in a class race discrimination lawsuit, alleging that a test had a disproportionately negative impact on African American hourly employees
seeking admission to an apprenticeship program. See http://www.eeoc.gov/press/6-1-05.html
- In November 2004, the Commission settled for $50 million a lawsuit filed against Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of a class of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and women allegedly subjected to discrimination in recruitment, hiring,
assignment, promotion and discharge based on race, color, national origin, and sex. Abercrombie & Fitch also agreed to improve hiring, recruitment, training, and promotions policies; revise marketing material; and select a Vice President of
Diversity and diversity recruiters. EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. CV-04-4731 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 10, 2004).
- In November 2002, the Commission settled a lawsuit with the Las Vegas hotel for more than $1 million on behalf of African American and Hispanic applicants who were allegedly were not hired for server positions because of their race. The hotel
also agreed to conduct antidiscrimination training and implement procedures to investigate discrimination complaints. EEOC v. The Mirage Hotel & Casino, No. CV S-02-1554 RLH - LRL (D.Nev. Nov. 27, 2002).
In November 2012, Alliant Techsystems Inc. paid $100,000 to settle an EEOC suit alleging that the company violated Title VII when it refused to hire an African-American woman for a technical support job at its offices in Edina because of her
race. According to the lawsuit, the alleged victim applied and was interviewed several times for the job in May 2007. After the first interview, the recruiter allegedly advised her to take out her braids to appear more professional. She did so and
purportedly was later told by the recruiter that Alliant wanted to hire her and that she would be contacted by the company's Human Resources Department. However, by the time she met with the company's information technology director, she had put her
braids back in. The next day, she was informed that she would not be hired. In June 2007, the company hired a White male for the IT job. The 3-year consent decree, which applies to the company's headquarters in Minnesota and Virginia, enjoins
Alliant from further discriminating in hiring based on race and from retaliating against persons who oppose practices made unlawful under Title VII. Additionally, the company will review its workplace policies to assure that they comply with Title
VII and will train its entire staff on the laws against discrimination. EEOC v. Alliant Techsystems Inc., Case No. 0:11-cv-02785-DSD-JJG (D. Minn. consent decree filed Nov. 20, 2012).
In April 2012, Bankers Asset Management Inc. agreed to pay $600,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit alleging that the real estate company excluded Black applicants from jobs at the company's Little Rock location based on their race. The firm also
allegedly retaliated against other employees and former employees for opposing or testifying about the race discrimination by demoting and forcing one worker out of her job and by suing others in state court. In addition to paying $600,000, the
three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit also requires Bankers Asset Management to hold a mandatory, annual three-hour training on race discrimination and retaliation in which its president or another officer participates, among other
provisions. EEOC v. Bankers Asset Mgmt. Inc., Civil Action No. 4:10-CV-002070-SWW (E.D. Ark.Apr. 18, 2012).
In February 2012, the owners of Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in Hartsville and Lafayette, Tenn., agreed to pay $40,000 to settle a race and gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. In its lawsuit, the EEOC asserted that the Piggly Wiggly
locations owned by MWR Enterprises Inc. II violated federal law by maintaining policies and practices that intentionally failed to hire African-Americans because of their race for positions at the company's Piggly Wiggly store in Hartsville and
Lafayette. The EEOC further charged that the company maintained a segregated work force and an established practice of not hiring males for cashier positions at the same locations. The four-year consent decree also requires Defendant MWR Enterprises
Inc., II, to establish a written policy which provides that all job assignments will be made without consideration to gender; establish guidelines and procedures for processing employment applications; provide Title VII training on race and gender
discrimination to its managers; meet recordkeeping and reporting requirements; and post a notice about the lawsuit and settlement at its store locations. EEOC v. MWR Enterprises Inc., II, C.A. No. 3:10-cv-00901 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 23,
In January 2012, a Johnson City, N.Y -based cleaning company agreed to pay $450,000 to 15 former employees to settle a hiring discrimination and retaliation case. According to an EEOC lawsuit filed in September 2011 in a federal court in
Pennsylvania, the executives of the cleaning company prohibited a White supervisor from hiring Black employees for a client in Concordsville, PA. The supervisor continued to hire qualified Black workers, and later was fired for defying her managers'
instructions. The EEOC also alleged that the company forced Black workers at the Concordville worksite to sit in the back of the cafeteria during breaks, and ultimately barred them from the cafeteria altogether The company later fired the entire
crew, replacing them with all non-Black workers. The EEOC filed a lawsuit seeking relief for the terminated supervisor and Black employees. In addition to the monetary relief, the company agreed to providing EEO training for its managers and
supervisors the company and to submit a follow-up report on remedial measures being taken at the Concordville worksite. EEOC v. Matrix L.L.C., Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-06183 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 6, 2012).
In January 2012, a marine construction and transportation company located in Dyersburg, Tenn., will pay an African-American job applicant $75,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the
company refused to hire a Black job applicant for a deckhand position because of his race in violation of Title VII. In addition to the monetary relief, a three-year consent decree requires the company to use its best efforts to fill up to 25
percent of available positions with African-Americans. Choctaw has also been ordered to maintain records of discrimination complaints, provide annual reports to the EEOC, and post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that includes the EEOC's
contact information. EEOC v. Choctaw Transp. Co., Inc., 1:10-cv-01248-JDB-egb (W.D. Tenn. Jan. 19, 2012).
In September 2011, the EEOC filed suit against Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, alleging that the nationwide retailer of sporting goods, apparel, and other miscellaneous products has been discriminating in its hiring since at least November 2005. The
EEOC's suit alleged that qualified African-Americans and Hispanics were routinely denied retail positions such as cashier, sales associate, team leader, supervisor, manager and other positions at many Bass Pro stores nationwide and that managers at
Bass Pro stores in the Houston area, in Louisiana, and elsewhere made overtly racially derogatory remarks acknowledging the discriminatory practices, including that hiring Black candidates did not fit the corporate profile. The lawsuit also claims
that Bass Pro punished employees who opposed the company's unlawful practices, in some instances firing them or forcing them to resign. EEOC v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, Civil Action No. 4:11-cv-03425 (S.D. Tex. Sep. 21,
- In March 2011, a federal district court in Maryland rejected a novel attempt by a national restaurant chain to block the EEOC from airing radio spots seeking Black individuals who applied for a job or worked at the chain's Baltimore location, in
connection with its race bias suit against the restaurant. EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Rests. Inc., No. 1:08-cv-00984 (D. Md. motion denied Mar. 17, 2011).
- In December 2010, the EEOC filed a race discrimination and retaliation suit against a real estate brokerage and management company alleging that the company refused to hire numerous Black applicants and then retaliated against other employees or
former employees for opposing the race discrimination. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, instatement or reinstatement as well as an injunction against future discrimination and retaliation. EEOC v.
Cry-Leike, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:10-CV-002070 (E.D. Ark. Dec. 30, 2010).
- In November 2010, a Chicago janitorial services provider agreed to pay $3 million to approximately 550 rejected Black job applicants under a four-year consent decree, settling the EEOC's allegations of race and national origin discrimination in
recruitment and hiring. The EEOC had alleged that the provider had recruited through media directed at Eastern European immigrants and Hispanics and hired people from those groups over African Americans, and that the provider's use of subjective
decisionmaking had a disparate impact on African Americans. As part of the decree, the provider also agreed to extensive changes in its employment policies, to engage in "active recruitment" of African American employees, to hire previously rejected
Black applicants, to implement training on discrimination and retaliation, and to hire an outside monitor to review compliance with the decree. EEOC v. Scrub Inc., No. 09 C 4228 (N.D. Ill. consent decree entered
Nov. 9, 2010).
- In June 2010, the EEOC obtained a ruling by the Ninth Circuit that permits the Commission to pursue injunctive relief to stop a coal company mining in the Navajo Nation from discriminating in employment against non-Navajo Indians. In this Title
VII case, EEOC claimed mineral lease provisions that require companies mining on the Navajo reservation in Arizona to give employment preferences to Navajos are unlawful. By honoring those provisions and refusing to hire non-Navajo Indians, Peabody
discriminates based on national origin, in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, EEOC asserted. EEOC also can proceed with efforts to secure an injunction against future enforcement of the Navajo hiring preference, the court added.
Should a court find a Title VII violation and issue such an injunction, Peabody and the Navajo Nation could file a third-party complaint against the Interior Secretary under Rule 14(a) to prevent the Secretary from seeking to enforce the lease
provisions or cancel the leases, it said. EEOC v. Peabody W. Coal Co., No. 06-17261 (9th Cir. June 23, 2010).
- In January 2010, an international investment management firm based in Malvern, Pennsylvania settled for $300,000 the EEOC's Title VII lawsuit, alleging that the firm failed to hire an African American female applicant for a financial planning
manager position at defendant's Charlotte, North Carolina office because of her race. She was the only African American among four candidates, and according to the EEOC, had met or exceeded all requirements for the job, had received highly favorable
comments as she progressed through defendant's interview process, which included multiple in-person and telephone interviews with high level managers, as well as an in-person assessment by a third party on matters such as personality and aptitude.
Additionally, at the conclusion of her final interview, defendant's managing director allegedly told the Black applicant she was "obviously qualified for the position." The firm, however, offered the job to two less qualified White applicants -- the
first declined and the second accepted. The 2-year consent decree also enjoins the firm from making hiring decisions based on race and prohibits retaliation. EEOC v. Vanguard Group, Inc., No. 09-04424 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 4,
- In March 2009, a manufacturer and distributor of foodservice equipment has offered permanent employment to an African American applicant and furnished other relief to resolve a race discrimination lawsuit alleging that the company refused to
hire the Black applicant into a permanent position at its Fayetteville, Tenn., facility because he disclosed a felony conviction on his application - even though the company hired a White applicant a year earlier who made a similar disclosure.
EEOC v. Franke, Inc., dba Franke Foodservice Systems, No. 3:08-cv-0515 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 26, 2009).
- In October 2008, a department store chain in Iowa entered a consent decree agreeing to pay $50,000 and to provide other affirmative relief. EEOC had alleged that the store chain refused to hire qualified Black job applicants for sales, truck
driver and other positions in its retail or warehouse facilities for reasons that were not applied to successful White applicants. In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree requires the store chain to post a remedial notice, provide
semi-annual training to managers and supervisors on employee and applicant rights under Title VII and employer obligations under Title VII, and report applicant data and any future complaints related to racial discrimination to the EEOC.
EEOC v. Von Maur, No. 06-CV-182 (S.D. Iowa Apr. 19, 2006 settled Oct. 29, 2008).
- In July 2008, EEOC resolved a race discrimination and retaliation suit for $140,000 against a Mississippi U-Haul company. The company was accused of discriminating on the basis of race when it hired the son of a selecting official rather than a
veteran African American manager, to serve as the company's marketing company president. The Black manager had worked for U-Haul for ten years as a reservation manager, assistant manager, general manager, area field manager and field relief manager,
and held a bachelor's degree in business manage¬ment as well as having received various awards for performance. The company, however, altered the job's requirements and hired the executive's son who lacked a college degree and had scanty experience
compared with the Black manager. The manager complained and the company disciplined and fired him. The company has agreed to adopt an online employee handbook and other documents spelling out company policies and practices; to post all vacancies for
marketing company president; to provide training on discrimination and retaliation to all board members; and to provide periodic reports to the EEOC. EEOC v. U-Haul Co. of Mississippi, Civil Action No. 3:06cv516 (S.D. Miss.
filed July 2008).
- In June 2008, a beauty supply chain agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit in which the EEOC charged that it rescinded a job offer after learning the successful applicant was Black. In a deposition, the former acting store
manager of the West Orange store gave sworn testimony that she had a telephone conversation with the district manager after the applicant had applied, and the district manager "told [me] she didn't want another Black person working in the store."
When the selectee arrived at the store on her starting date, she was informed that she could not be hired due to her race because there would have been too many African Americans at the store. EEOC v. Sally Beauty Supply LLC,
Civil Action No. 1:07cv644 (E.D. Tex. settled June 23, 2008).
- In September 2007, EEOC upheld an Administrative Judge's (AJ) default judgment in favor of complainant, a Staff Nurse Supervisor, who had alleged race discrimination when she was not selected for a Nurse Manager position. The AJ sanctioned the
agency for failing to timely investigate the complaint. Relief included retroactive promotion, back pay and a tailored order to allow complainant to submit her request for fees incurred solely for the successful prosecution of the appeal.
Royal v. Department of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 0720070045 (Sep. 10, 2007).
- In January 2007, the Commission found discrimination based on race (African-American) when a federal employee was not selected for the position of Criminal Investigator despite plainly superior qualifications as compared to the selectee. The
manager who recommended the selectee, ignored complainant's qualifications and was reported to have previously told another African-American applicant that his "Black ass would never become a special agent." The Commission affirmed the AJ's finding
of discrimination and ordered the retroactive promotion of complainant, back pay, compensatory damages ($75,000), attorney's fees, and other relief. Green v. Department of Homeland Security, EEOC Appeal No. 0720060058 (January
- In November 2006, the Commission found that a federal employee had been discriminated against based on his race (Asian/Pacific Islander) when he was not selected for the position of Social Insurance Specialist. The Commission affirmed the AJ's
finding that the agency's articulated reason for failing to select complainant -- the selectee was "highly recommended" to the selecting official -- was not worthy of belief since complainant was "definitely recommended" and that discrimination more
likely motivated the agency's decision. The Commission ordered the retroactive promotion of complainant, back pay, compensatory damages ($5,000), attorney's fees, and other relief. Paras v. SSA, EEOC Appeal No. 0720060049
(November 6, 2006).
- In August 2006, a federal appellate court in Illinois reversed a negative trial court ruling and decided that the EEOC had produced sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in its race discrimination case against Target Corporation, a major
retailer. According to the lawsuit, an interviewing official for the company refused to schedule interviews for four Black applicants seeking entry-level management positions because of their race. The Commission's evidence included inculpatory
tester evidence and expert testimony indicating that the names and voices of the Black applicants, as well as some of the organizational affiliations (e.g. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.) disclosed on their resumes, could have served as proxies
for race. EEOC v. Target Corporation, 460 F.3d 946 (7th Cir. 2006).
In December 2012, EEOC and a North Carolina printing firm settled for $334,000 a lawsuit alleging the firm violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by not placing non-Hispanic workers in its "core group" of regular temporary workers who
perform the company's light bindery production jobs and giving disproportionately more work hours to Hispanic workers. Under the proposed two-year consent decree, PBM Graphics Inc. would place the settlement funds in escrow for distribution later
among non-Hispanic workers identified by EEOC as victims of the alleged national origin discrimination. EEOC v. PBM Graphics Inc., No. 11-805 (M.D.N.C. proposed consent decree filed 12/10/12).
In October 2012, a Hampton Inn franchise in Craig, Colorado agreed to pay $85,000 to resolve a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit regarding the terminations of three Caucasian and non-Latino employees. According to the lawsuit, the
general manager of the hotel allegedly was told by the business owners "to hire more qualified maids, and that they preferred maids to be Hispanic because in their opinion Hispanics worked harder" and that White or non-Hispanic workers were
indolent. EEOC v. Century Shree Corp. & Century Rama Inc., Case No. 11-cv-2558-REB-CBS (D. Colo. Oct. 2, 2012).
In September 2012, an Indianapolis hotel agreed to pay $355,000 to settle a job discrimination case with the EEOC. The Hampton Inn is accused of firing Black housekeepers because of their race and retaliating against those who had complained.
According to the EEOC, the general manager of the Hampton Inn hotel advised her employees that she wanted to get "Mexicans" in who would clean better and complain less than her black housekeeping staff, even if the Hispanic hires were equally or
less qualified than Black candidates. In addition to the monetary relief, the hotel must offer three of those employees their next available housekeeping positions and train any employees involved in the hiring process. EEOC v. New
Indianapolis Hotels, Inc., Case No. 1:10-cv-1234 (S.D. Ind. Sep. 21, 2010).
- In September 2010, the EEOC sued an Indianapolis hotel for denying employment to Black housekeeping applicants, offering lower pay and hours to Black housekeeping staff, terminating Black housekeeping staff who complained of the less favorable
treatment, and destroying employment records since at least September 2, 2008 because of the hotel's preference for Hispanic workers. According to the EEOC, the general manager of the Hampton Inn hotel located at 2311 North Shadeland Ave. advised
her employees that she wanted to get "Mexicans" in who would clean better and complain less than her Black housekeeping staff. The EEOC's lawsuit seeks relief for a class of terminated housekeeping employees as well as a class of Black housekeeping
applicants who sought employment at its Shadeland Avenue Hampton Inn facility between approximately September 2, 2008 and June 2009. EEOC v. New Indianapolis Hotels Inc., Case No. 1:10-cv-1234 (S.D. Ind. filed Sept. 30,
- In August 2010, a judge refused to dismiss an EEOC lawsuit alleging that a freight management company hired Hispanic workers to the exclusion of equally or more qualified non-Hispanic employees for non-management positions at a Wal-Mart
distribution facility in Shelby, North Carolina. The court rejected the company's claims that the EEOC had failed to state a claim in its complaint and that the suit was barred by laches. EEOC v. Propak Logistics Inc., No.
09-00311 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 6, 2010).
- In August 2010, a temporary staffing agency with operations in five states admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay $585,000 to settle an EEOC suit alleging that the agency favored Hispanic workers over Black workers in hiring at a warehouse in
Memphis, Tennessee. The Commission claimed that the agency selected Hispanics regardless of prior experience, place in line or availability. In addition to the monetary settlement, the staffing agency will create and publish a written hiring and
placement policy prohibiting discrimination, post such policy at its Memphis facilities, and provide race and national origin discrimination awareness training for all recruiters, and onsite personnel. Further, to demonstrate its strong and clear
commitment to a workplace free of race and national origin discrimination, the agency agreed that if it advertises, it will devote a portion of its advertising budget to placing ads in diverse media outlets.EEOC v. Paramount Staffing
Inc., No. 2:06-02624 (W.D. Tenn. settled Aug. 23, 2010).
- In August 2009, a Pinehurst, N.C.-based support services company for condominium complexes and resorts paid $44,700 and will furnish significant remedial relief to settle a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit, alleging the company
unlawfully discharged six housekeepers because of their race (African American) and national origin (non-Hispanic) and immediately replaced them with Hispanic workers. EEOC v. Little River Golf, Inc., No. 1:08CV00546 (M.D.N.C.
Aug. 6, 2009).
- In May 2009, a Statesville, NC grocery store agreed to settle for $30,000 a lawsuit alleging that it had fired a White, non-Hispanic meat cutter based on his race and national origin and replaced him with a less-qualified Hispanic employee. In
addition, the store has agreed to distribute a formal, written anti-discrimination policy, train all employees on the policy and employment discrimination laws, and send reports to the EEOC on employees who are fired or resign. EEOC v.
West Front Street Foods LLC, d/b/a Compare Foods, No 5:08-cv-102 (W.D.N.C. settled May 19, 2009).
- In January 2008, a Charlotte, N.C supermarket chain paid $40,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit alleging that the supermarket fired or forced long-term Caucasian and African American employees to resign and replaced them with Hispanic workers after
it took over a particular facility.the case. In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree required the company to distribute a formal, written anti-discrimination policy; provide periodic training to all its employees on the policy and on
Title VII's prohibition against national origin and race discrimination; send periodic reports to the EEOC concerning employees who are fired or resign; and post a "Notice to Employees" concerning this lawsuit. EEOC v. E&T
Foods, LLC, d/b/a Compare Foods, Civil Action No 3:06-cv-318 (W.D.N.C. settled Jan. 28, 2008).
In January 2013, a federal jury found that two Black employees of a North Carolina trucking company were subjected to a racially hostile work environment and awarded them $200,000 in damages. The jury also found that one employee was fired in
retaliation for complaining about the hostile environment. In a complaint filed in June 2011, EEOC alleged that, from at least May 2007 through June 2008, one Black employee was subjected to derogatory and threatening comments based on his race by
his supervisor and co-workers, and that a coworker mechanic displayed a noose and asked him if he wanted to "hang from our family tree." EEOC also alleged that the mechanic also repeatedly and regularly called the employee "nigger" and "Tyrone," a
term the co-worker used to refer to unknown black individuals. Evidence also revealed that A.C. Widenhouse's general manager and the employee's supervisor also regularly made racial comments and used racial slurs, such as asking him if he would be
the coon in a "coon hunt" and alerting him that if one of his daughters brought home a Black man, he would kill them both. The employee also frequently heard other co-workers use racial slurs such as "nigger" and "monkey" over the radio when
communicating with each other. The second Black employee testified that, when he was hired in 2005, he was the company's only African American and was told he was the "token black." The general manager also talked about a noose and having "friends"
visit in the middle of the night as threats to Floyd. Both employees reported the racial harassment, but company supervisors and officers failed to address the hostile work environment. The jury awarded the former employees $50,000 in compensatory
damages and $75,000 each in punitive damages. EEOC v. A.C. Widenhouse Inc., No. 1:11-cv-498 (M.D.N.C. verdict filed Jan. 28, 2013).
In January 2013, Emmert International agreed to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by EEOC that charged the company harassed and retaliated against employees in violation of federal law. Specifically, the EEOC's lawsuit alleged
that the company's foreman and other Emmert employees repeatedly harassed two employees, one African American and the other Caucasian, while working on the Odd Fellows Hall project in Salt Lake City. Emmert's foreman and employees regularly used the
"n-word," called the Black employee "boy," called the White employee a "n---- lover," and made racial jokes and comments. The EEOC also alleged that Emmert International retaliated against Black employee for complaining about the harassment. The 24-
month consent decree requires the company to pay $180,000 to the two employees, provide training to its staff on unlawful employment discrimination, and to review and revise its policies on workplace discrimination. The decree also requires Emmert
International to post notices explaining federal laws against workplace discrimination. EEOC v. Emmert Industrial Corp., d/b/a Emmert International, No. 2:11-CV-00920CW (D. Ariz. Jan. 7, 2013).
In October 2012, a district court ruled that the EEOC proved that a construction site where a White supervisor regularly used racial slurs was objectively a hostile work environment for Black employees under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights
Act. It also decided, however, that a jury must determine if the three Black plaintiffs found the workplace subjectively offensive because, although their repeated complaints indicate they were offended, a jury must resolve factual issues raised by
some co-workers' testimony that the plaintiffs actually did not seem bothered by the harasser's conduct. Ruling on EEOC's motion for partial summary judgment, the court said the company's admissions that site superintendent/project manager referred
to three Black plaintiff-intervenors as "nigger" or "nigga" on a near-daily basis and told racial jokes using those terms and other offensive epithets establishes an objective racially hostile work environment. The court said the undisputed evidence
also indicated that human resources manager told the company's employees during a safety meeting not to "nigger rig their jobs"; that company management was aware the worksite's portable toilets were covered with racist graffiti; and that other
White supervisors and employees routinely used racial epithets, including an incident where a White supervisor commented regarding rap music being played in a van transporting employees to the worksite, "I'm not listening to this nigger jig." When
confronted by a Black employee about the comment, the White supervisor allegedly replied: "I can see where your feelings were hurt, but there is a difference between niggers and blacks, Mexicans and spics. But I see you as a black man."
EEOC v. Holmes & Holmes Indus. Inc., No. 10-955 (D. Utah Oct. 10, 2012).
In March 2012, the EEOC sued a restaurant in Menomonie, Wisconsin because its managers allegedly posted images of a noose, a Klan hood and other racist depictions, including a dollar bill that was defaced with a noose around the neck of a
Black-faced George Washington, swastikas, and the image of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood. A Black employee to complained and then was fired. EEOC v. Northern Star Hospitality Inc., Civil Action No. 12-cv-214 (W.D. Wis. Mar. 27,
In February 2012, major cement and concrete products company, paid $400,000 and furnished other relief to settle am EEOC lawsuit alleging racial harassment. The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that a class of African American males at Ready Mix's
Montgomery-area facilities was subjected to a racially hostile work environment. The EEOC said that a noose was displayed in the worksite, that derogatory racial language, including references to the Ku Klux Klan, was used by a direct supervisor and
manager and that race-based name calling occurred. Ready Mix denies that racial harassment occurred at its worksites. The two-year decree also enjoins Ready Mix from engaging in further racial harassment or retaliation and requires that the company
conduct EEO training. Ready Mix will be required to modify its policies to ensure that racial harassment is prohibited and a system for investigation of complaints is in place. The company must also report certain complaints of harassment or
retaliation to the EEOC for monitoring. EEOC v. Ready Mix USA d/b/a Couch Ready Mix USA LLC, No. 2:09-CV-923 (M.D. Ala. consent decree announced Feb. 21, 2012).
In August 2011, a federal district court entered a default judgment in favor of the EEOC in its lawsuit alleging that a pipeline construction company permitted several African American employees to be subjected to hanging nooses in the workplace
even after they complained about the offensive displays. The company failed to retain counsel to prosecute the lawsuit. The court granted the EEOC's motion for a default judgment and awarded $50,000 to five claimants. The court also enjoined the
company from discriminating on the basis of race or protected conduct in violation of Title VII. EEOC v. L.A. Pipeline Constr. Co., No. 2:08-CV-840 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 5, 2011).
- In June 2011, Herzog Roofing, Inc., a Detroit Lakes, Minn., roofing company, agreed in a pre-suit settlement to pay $71,500 to seven Black, Hispanic, and American Indian employees to settle racial harassment and retaliation charges, alleging
that the targeted employees were frequently subjected to racial epithets, racial jokes and hostile treatment by managers and coworkers and that complaints were ignored. The EEOC also had found that the company retaliated against the employee who
brought the initial complaint by firing him after he reported the unlawful treatment. In addition to monetary relief, the company has agreed to provide anti-discrimination training to all of its employees and additional training on harassment and
retaliation to all supervisors, managers and owners. It also will redistribute its anti-harassment policies and procedures and monitor its supervisors' compliance with equal employment opportunity laws.
- In May 2011, an IT service company entered a consent decree to pay $60,000 to an African-American employee who had allegedly been subjected to race discrimination and retaliation. In its lawsuit, the EEOC had alleged that the employee's
supervisors subjected him to racial epithets and asked if he was a "black man or a n----r." The Commission further alleged that, following his complaints of racial discrimination, the company demoted and later discharged the employee. The consent
decree enjoins the company from engaging in any racial discrimination or retaliation and requires the company to post a remedial notice for two years. In addition, the company must draft its non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and retaliation
policies in simple, plain language and include a complaint procedure within these policies. The consent decree also bolsters supervisor accountability and requires training on the requirements of Title VII for all managers, supervisors, and Human
Resources personnel. Finally, the company must keep records of each future complaint related to race, national origin, or retaliation and furnish written reports to the EEOC regarding any potential complaints.EEOC v. Eclipse Advantage,
Inc., No. 1:10-cv-02001 (N.D. Ohio consent decree filed May 2, 2011).
- In April 2011, an architectural sheet metal company settled a racial harassment case for $160,000 in which the EEOC alleged that a White supervisor regularly referred to African-American employees with the epithet "n----r" and used other slurs
and racial graffiti was on display in common areas and on company equipment. In addition to monetary relief, the 18-month consent decree settling the lawsuit provides for training on employee rights under Title VII, and requires the company to
maintain records of racial harassment complaints, provide annual reports to the EEOC, and post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that includes the EEOC's contact information.EEOC v. Ralph Jones Sheet Metal, Inc., No.
2:09-cv-02636 (W.D. Tenn. settled Apr. 22, 2011).
- In April 2011, the Fourth Circuit vacated in part the district court's judgment and remanded for trial part of the EEOC's racial harassment suit against Xerxes, a fiberglass company. EEOC had alleged that the company's Hagerstown, MD plant
permitted its Black employees to be subjected to a racially hostile work environment despite repeated complaints about the harassment. The alleged harassment included name-calling such as "black Polack," "Buckwheat," and "boy;" White coworkers'
frequent use of the N-word; and the discovery of a note in a Black employee's locker that said: "KKK plans could result in death, serious personal injury, Nigga Bernard." The district court dismissed the EEOC's case, ruling that Xerxes had "acted
quickly and reasonably effectively to end" the harassment. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit decided that a reasonable jury could find that the complaints by two claimants prior to February 2006 "were sufficient to place Xerxes on actual notice of
racial slurs and pranks in the plant and that Xerxes' response was unreasonable." The court affirmed the rest of the district court's judgment.EEOC v. Xerxes Corp., No. 10-1156 (4th Cir. Apr. 26, 2011).
- In October 2010, a South Point, Ohio-based contractor that constructs and installs water and sewer lines entered into a 5-year consent decree to settle claims that it violated Title VII when it failed to stop a White foreman and employees from
racially harassing and retaliating against a Black laborer working at defendant's sewer installation site in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The alleged harassment included directing threatening language and conduct at the Black laborer, such
as saying that President Obama would be assassinated and showing him a swastika a White coworker had spray-painted on company equipment. The contractor fired the Black laborer allegedly because he refused to drop his complaint after the
superintendent told him that he could not guarantee the laborer's safety and that he could not return to work while he continued to press his complaint. The consent decree awards the laborer $87,205 in monetary relief, $47,205 as backpay and $40,000
as punitive damages (paid in four quarterly $10,000 installments), all personally guaranteed by the owner, as well as a written offer of reinstatement. The decree also permanently enjoins race discrimination, racial harassment, and retaliation, and
requires the contractor to implement antidiscrimination policies, complaint procedures with multiple avenues for complaining about discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, guidelines for prompt and thorough investigation of each such complaint
or report (whether verbal or written), procedures for compiling and maintaining an investigative file, and EEO training for all managers, supervisors, and other employees. EEOC v. Mike Enyart & Sons, No. 5:10-cv-00921
(S.D.W.Va. settled Oct. 6, 2010).
- In September 2010, EEOC sued the largest private university in the United States and one of New York City's ten biggest employers for allegedly violating federal law by creating a hostile work environment for an African-born employee that
included degrading verbal harassment based on national origin and race. According to the EEOC's suit, the supervisor of the mailroom in NYU's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library regularly subjected his assistant, who is a native of Ghana, to slurs such as
"monkey" and "gorilla," and made comments such as "go back to your cage," "go back to the jungle," and "do you want a banana?" The supervisor also frequently mocked the assistant's accented English, deriding it as "gibberish," and expressed
hostility toward immigrants generally and Africans specifically. Although the assistant complained repeatedly to NYU management and human resources personnel, NYU took months to investigate and then took virtually no action to curb the supervisor's
conduct. Even after the assistant alerted NYU that the supervisor had retaliated against him for complaining, such as by fabricating grounds for disciplining him, the university did not stop the harassment. EEOC v. New York
Univ., No. 10-CV-7399 (S.D.N.Y. filed Sept. 27, 2010).
- In September 2010, the largest uniform manufacturer in North America and provider of specialized services agreed to pay $152,500 to settle a racial harassment claim. A class of African-American employees was subjected to racial harassment by
co-workers when workers in a specific division were referred to as the "ghetto division," and were called derivations of "chocolate" or "chocolate delicious," conduct that went uncorrected. In addition to monetary relief, a consent decree enjoins
the company from engaging in either sexual or racial harassment or retaliation. Furthermore, the company must conduct training on federal anti-discrimination laws, report on company responses to complaints, and post a remedial
notice.EEOC v. Cintas Corp., No. 1:09-cv-04449 (E.D. Pa. settled Sept. 27, 2010).
- In September 2010, EEOC filed a racial harassment lawsuit against a cell phone installation and testing company, asserting that the company violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it subjected an African-American employee to severe and
repeated harassment. According to the complaint, a foreman regularly subjected the employee to racially driven comments, gestures, and threats, including calling him "boy," telling him that that "whites run things," and threatening to physically
harm the employee. Furthermore, the foreman, who wore a swastika on his arm, stated that he had "cut an African from the belly to the neck" and that he "likes killing blacks and Mexicans." The foreman also said about Black people, "just hang them
and burn a cross on the homes." The harassment continued even after the employee reported the conduct. Because the employee feared for his safety, he resigned. EEOC v. Towersite Services, LLC, No. 1:10-cv-02997 (N.D. Ga. Sept.
- In August 2010, an aircraft services company settled for $600,000 the EEOC's suit claiming the company permitted the unlawful harassment of Black, Filipino, and Guatemalan employees at a Burbank, California airport. Under a two-year consent
decree, Mercury Air Centers Inc. agreed to pay the settlement amount to at least seven employees who were allegedly subjected to "a barrage of harassing comments" by a Salvadoran co-worker at Bob Hope Airport. Rather than respond to the employees'
complaints about the alleged harasser, the company promoted the alleged harasser to supervisor, the Commission alleged. EEOC v. Mercury Air Centers Inc., No. 08-6332 (C.D. Cal. consent decree filed Aug. 9, 2010).
- In April 2010, a Houston-area construction company paid $122,500 and will provide additional remedial relief to resolve a federal lawsuit alleging race, national origin and religious discrimination. The EEOC's lawsuit alleged that the company
discriminated against Mohammad Kaleemuddin because he is of the Islamic faith and of East Indian descent, and against 13 other employees because they are Black or Hispanic when a supervisor referred to Kaleemuddin as "terrorist," "Taliban," "Osama"
and "Al-Qaeda," to the Black employees as "n----s" and to Hispanics as "f-----g Mexicans." In addition to monetary relief, the consent decree required the owner to provide a signed letter of apology to Kaleemuddin and that the alleged harassing
manager alleged be prohibited from ever working again for the company. The company will also provide employee training designed to prevent future discrimination and harassment on the job. EEOC v. Pace Services, L.P., No.
4:08cv2886 (S.D. Tex. Apr. 2010).
- In April 2010, the EEOC settled its lawsuit against Professional Building Systems for $118,000 and significant non-monetary relief after it had identified at least 12 Black employees who had been subjected to racial harassment there. According
to the EEOC's complaint, at various times between mid-2005 and 2008, Black employees were subjected to racial harassment that involved the creation and display of nooses; references to Black employees as "boy" and by the "N-word"; and racially
offensive pictures such as a picture that depicted the Ku Klux Klan looking down a well at a Black man. In its complaint, the EEOC alleged that the managers of the company not only knew about the harassment and took no action to stop or prevent it,
but also that a manager was one of the perpetrators of the harassment. EEOC v. Professional Building Systems of North Carolina, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-00617) (M.D.N.C. April 2010).
- In February 2010, Big Lots paid $400,000 to settle a race harassment and discrimination lawsuit in which the EEOC alleged that the company took no corrective action to stop an immediate supervisor and co-workers, all Hispanic, from subjecting a
Black maintenance mechanic and other Black employees to racially derogatory jokes, comments, slurs and epithets, including the use of the words "n----r" and "monkey," at its California distribution center. EEOC v. Big Lots,
Inc., CV-08-06355-GW(CTx) (C.D. Cal. Feb. 2010).
- In January 2010, the Sixth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a district court's decision granting summary judgment to defendant Whirlpool Corporation in a racial hostile work environment case in which the EEOC participated as amicus
curiae. The alleged racial harassment largely involved a serial harasser who continually used racial slurs, including various permutations on "nigger," made references to the Ku Klux Klan openly and on a daily basis, and left a threatening message
on a coworker's husband's answering machine. Other racially hostile incidents included White coworkers displaying the Confederate flag on their clothing and tow motors, threatening racial violence, making repeated references to the KKK and the
n-word, telling of racist jokes, remarking that they wished they had a "James Earl Ray Day" as a holiday, and "laughing and talking about the Black guy that got drugged [sic] behind a truck in Texas[,] … saying he probably deserved it." Several of
the Black plaintiffs also testified about the presence of racial graffiti in the plant bearing similar messages, including "KKK everywhere," "go home sand niggers," and "Jesus suffered, so the niggers must suffer too, or … Blacks must suffer, too."
Armstrong v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 08-6376 (6th Cir. Jan. 26, 2010).
- In January 2010, a Georgia car dealership agreed to pay $140,000 to settle a race discrimination suit. In this case, the EEOC alleged that a White consultant visited the car dealership three to four times a week and never missed an opportunity
to make racially derogatory comments towards the Black sales manager and almost always in the presence of other people. After the Black sales manager complained about the derogatory comments, two White managers asked the consultant to stop his
discriminatory behavior. The consultant ignored their requests to cease and continued to make the derogatory comments at every opportunity. The dealership denied any liability or wrongdoing but will provide equal employment opportunity training,
make reports, and post anti-discrimination notices. EEOC v. S&H Thomson, Inc., dba Stokes-Hodges Chevrolet Cadillac Buick Pontiac GMC, (S.D. Ga. Consent decree filed Jan. 14, 2010).
- In September 2009, a Phoenix credit card processing company agreed to pay $415,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a race harassment lawsuit, in which the EEOC charged that the company subjected a group of African American
workers to racial slurs and epithets. According to one discrimination victim: "My supervisors often referred to my fellow African-American employees and me as 'n-----rs' and 'porch monkeys' and forced us to play so-called 'Civil War games' where
employees were divided into North and South. They also referred to Black children or mixed-race children as 'porch monkeys' or 'Oreo babies.' On several occasions, I was told to turn off my 'jigaboo music." EEOC v. NPMG, Acquisition
Sub, LLC., No. CV 08-01790-PHX-SRB (D. Ariz. Sep. 16, 2009).
- In August 2009, a Mississippi-based drilling company agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a Title VII lawsuit, alleging that four employees, three White and one Black, experienced racial harassment and retaliation while assigned to a remote drilling
rig in Texas. The harassment included being subjected to racial taunts and mistreatment from Hispanic employees and supervisors and having their safety threatened because the supervisors conducted safety meetings in Spanish only and refused to
interpret for them in English. Told that they needed to learn Spanish because they were in South Texas, the employees said that instead of addressing their complaints of discrimination, they were fired. The company agreed to establish an effective
anti-discrimination policy and to provide anti-discrimination training to its employees. EEOC v. E&D Services, Inc., No. SA-08-CA-0714-NSN (W.D. Tex. Aug. 2009).
- In May 2009, a masonry company agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a Title VII lawsuit alleging race and national origin harassment of Hispanic employees. The suit charged that the foremen and former superintendent referred to the company's Latino
employees with derogatory terms such as "f---ing Mexicans," "pork chop," "Julio," "spics," "chico" and "wetback." In addition, former employees alleged that Hispanic workers were routinely exposed to racist graffiti, which the company never
addressed. The three-year decree enjoins the company from future discrimination and retaliation on the basis of race or national origin and mandates anti-discrimination and investigation training for all of its employees and supervisors.
EEOC v. Ceisel Masonry, No. 06 C 2075 (N.D. Ill. May 22, 2009); Ramirez v. Ceisel Masonry, No. 06 C 2084 (N.D. Ill. May 2009).
- In April 2009, high-end retailer Nordstrom settled an EEOC lawsuit alleging that it permitted the harassment despite complaints by Hispanic and Black employees about a department manager who said she "hated Hispanics" and that they were "lazy"
and "ignorant" and that she didn't like Blacks and told one employee, "You're Black, you stink." Under the terms of the settlement, Nordstrom will pay $292,000, distribute copies of its anti-discrimination policy to its employees, and provide
anti-harassment training. EEOC v. Nordstrom, Inc., No. 07-80894-CIV-RYSKAMP/VITUNAC (S.D. Fla. April 2009).
- In July 2008, the largest independent tire companies in the nation agreed to pay $185,000 and furnish other corrective measures to settle a racial harassment lawsuit. In the lawsuit, EEOC alleged that the company subjected a Native American
employee to continuous race-based harassment, which included co-workers calling him derogatory names and making insulting jokes about Native Americans over a period of years and then fired him when he continued to complain about the mistreatment.
EEOC v. Les Schwab Tire Centers of Montana, Inc., No. 06-149-M-DWM (D. Mont. July 1, 2008).
- In June 2008, a San Jose-based manufacturer of semiconductor production equipment agreed to pay $168,000 to settle EEOC claims that it failed to stop the racial harassment of an African American assembly technician who was forced to listen to a
Vietnamese coworker play and rap aloud to rap music with racially offensive lyrics and then fired the Black employee after he repeatedly complained about his work conditions. The manufacturer also agreed to amend its harassment policy to refer
specifically to harassment through the playing of music, and to include offensive musical lyrics in its examples of racial harassment. EEOC v. Novellus Systems, Inc., C-07-4787 RS (N.D. Cal. settled June 24, 2008).
- In June 2008, a landmark New York City restaurant in Central Park settled an EEOC Title VII lawsuit filed on behalf of female, Hispanic, and Black employees for $2.2 million. EEOC had alleged that for the past eight years the restaurant engaged
in racial and sexual harassment. The alleged harassment included a manager's regular use of the "n-word" to refer to the Black employees and "sp*c" or "ignorant immigrants" to refer to the Hispanic employees. Additionally, the manager asked a Black
hostess to "touch and suck his penis" and inappropriately grabbed her buttocks and breasts. the restaurant. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the restaurant will establish a telephone hotline which employees may use to raise any discrimination
complaints, distribute a revised policy against discrimination and retaliation, and provide training to all employees against discrimination and retaliation. EEOC v. Tavern on the Green, Civil Action No. 07- CV-8256 (S.D.N.Y.
settled June 2, 2008).
- In May 2008, the Sixth Circuit ruled that two Black male dockworkers had been subjected to a racially hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. The harassment in this case, in which the EEOC filed an amicus brief in support of the
victims, centered on the frequent use of the term "boy" to refer to the Black male employees. The term was spray-painted on walls and doors, written in Black marker or spray painted in the locker rooms, equipment, and on a calendar in the break room
over Martin Luther King's birthday, etched into bathroom walls in the terminal, and written in dust on dock surfaces, even after the employer held a sensitivity session to explain the term's racial and derogatory implications. Bailey
v. USF Holland, Inc., 526 F.3d 880 (6th Cir. 2008).
- In April 2008, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court's decision granting summary judgment to the defendant on the plaintiff's Title VII claim alleging that he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment. The
racial hostility manifested as racist graffiti, racial epithets, and the hanging of a noose at a Salt Lake City rail yard. Agreeing with the position taken by the EEOC as amicus curiae, the court of appeals held that nearly all of the racially
hostile acts alleged by the plaintiff could be considered as a single hostile work environment under National Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101 (2002), and that the plaintiff could obtain relief for the entire period of the hostile
work environment at issue notwithstanding the fact that he failed to file suit after receiving a notice of right to sue on an earlier Title VII charge challenging the racial harassment. Tademy v. Union Pacific Corp., 520 F.3d
1149 (10th Cir. Apr. 1, 2008).
- In March 2008, the Commission affirmed the AJ's finding of race (Native American) and national origin (Cherokee Nation) discrimination, where complainant had his life threatened by a client and the agency never took necessary actions to stop the
harassment. The AJ found that a customer continually harassed complainant by, among other actions, referring to complainant as a "worthless Indian, dumb Indian, and stupid." The Commission affirmed the award of $50,000 in non-pecuniary damages due
to complainant's emotional suffering, restoration of leave, payment of costs, and mileage. The Commission also ordered training of responsible officials, consideration of discipline, and the posting of a notice but rejected the AJ's award of
$6,903.87 in closing costs for complainant's sale of his house as being too speculative to connect to the discriminatory conduct.Hern v. Department of Agriculture, EEOC Appeal No. 0720060012 (March 10, 2008).
- In January 2008, a Lockheed Martin facility in Hawaii settled a Title VII lawsuit for $2.5 million, the largest amount ever obtained by the EEOC for a single person in a race discrimination case. The EEOC asserted that the military contractor
engaged in racial harassment and retaliation after it allegedly permitted a Latino supervisor and White co-workers to subject an African American electrician to racial jokes, slurs and threats daily for a year. Additionally, the employees allegedly
told the Black electrician it would have been better if the South had won the Civil War and talked regularly about lynching and slavery. After the electrician complained about the harassment, he was terminated. In addition to the monetary
settlement, the company agreed to terminate the harassers and make significant policy changes to address any future discrimination. EEOC v. Lockheed Martin, Civil No. 05-00479 SPK (D. Haw. settled Jan. 2, 2008).
- In October 2007, EEOC obtained $290,000 from an Oklahoma-based oil drilling contractor for seven African American men who alleged that, while on an oil rig, they were subjected to a hostile work environment, which included the display of hangman
nooses, derogatory racial language, and race-based name calling. EEOC v. Helmerich & Payne Int'l Drilling Co., No. 3:05-cv-691 (D. Miss. 2007).
- In October 2007, the Commission decided that a federal agency had improperly dismissed a Black employee's racial harassment complaint for failure to state a claim. The employee had alleged she was subjected to a hostile work environment because
the agency had rehired a former employee who had been charged with discrimination after he made a noose and hung it up in the proximity of an African American employee. The Commission decided that the employee's allegations, if true, were
sufficiently severe to state a hostile work environment claim in violation of Title VII since an employer is responsible for preventing discriminatory work environments when it is aware of such danger. The case was reinstated and remanded to the
agency for an investigation. Juergensen v. Dep't of Commerce, EEOC Appeal No. 0120073331 (Oct. 5, 2007).
- In April 2007, the Commission decided that a Caucasian complainant, was subjected to racial harassment over a period of two years by both managers and co-workers used various racially derogatory terms when referring to complainant. Evidence
showed that management generally condoned racially related comments made by African-American supervisors and co-workers who frequently voiced a "Black versus White" mentality at the work place. The Commission ordered the agency to pay complainant
$10,000.00 in compensatory damages and to provide training to all management and staff at the facility. See Brown v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 0720060042 (April 11, 2007).
- In April 2007, EEOC reached a $900,000 settlement in a lawsuit alleging that a geriatric center subjected 29 Black, Haitian and Jamaican employees to harassing comments because of race and national origin. The employees were also prohibited from
speaking Creole, and were retaliated against by being subjected to discipline when they complained about their treatment. EEOC v. Flushing Manor Geriatric Center, Inc. d/b/a William O. Benenson Rehabilitation Pavilion, No.
05-4061 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 23, 2007).
- In January 2007, EEOC settled a racial harassment lawsuit against AK Steel Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, for $600,000. The evidence in that case was both severe and pervasive because the workplace featured Nazi symbols, racially graphic
and threatening graffiti with messages to kill Black people, displays of nooses and swastikas in work areas open to Black employees, racial slurs and epithets, an open display of KKK videos in the employee lounge areas and circulation of political
literature by David Duke, a known KKK leader. EEOC v. AK Steel Corp., (Jan. 31, 2007).
- In November 2006, the EEOC resolved a Title VII lawsuit alleging that defendant, a nationwide meat processing company, discriminated against Black maintenance department employees at its chicken processing plant in Ashland, Alabama, by
subjecting them to a racially hostile work environment, which included a "Whites Only" sign on a bathroom in the maintenance department and a padlock on the bathroom door to which only White employees were given keys. The complaint also alleged that
the two Charging Parties were retaliated against when they were suspended for minor issues within a few months of complaining about racial conditions at the plant. Thirteen Black employees intervened in the Commission action alleging violations of
Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and various state law provisions. Pursuant to a 3-year consent decree, 13 complainants would receive $871,000 and attorney's fees and costs. EEOC v. Tyson Foods, Inc., cv-05-BE-1704-E (N.D. Ala. Nov.
- In July 2006, Home Depot paid $125,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. The suit alleged that a Black former night crew lumberman/forklift operator was subjected to a racially hostile work environment because management
condoned racial remarks by his supervisors who called him "Black dog," "Black boy," a "worthless [racial epithet]" and told him that the Supreme Court had found Black people to be "inferior." EEOC v. Home Depot USA, Inc., No.
05-11921 (D. Mass. July 13, 2006).
- In March 2006, a commercial coating company agreed to pay $1 million to settle an EEOC case that alleged that a Black employee was subjected to racially hostile environment that included frequent verbal and physical abuse that culminated in him
being choked by a noose in the company bathroom until he lost consciousness. EEOC v. Commercial Coating Serv., Inc., No. H-03-3984 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 2006).
- In February 2006, the Commission affirmed an AJ's finding that complainant had been subjected to hostile work environment discrimination based on race (African-American) when a noose was placed in his work area. Although based on a single
incident, the noose was a sufficiently severe racial symbol with violent implications that equates to a death threat. As such, the incident altered the condition of complainant's employment. Complainant was awarded $35,000.00 in non-pecuniary
compensatory damages, restoration of annual and sick leave, and $34,505.87 in attorney's fees. The agency was ordered to provide racial harassment training to all employees at the activity. Tootle v. Navy, EEOC Appeal No.
07A40127 (Feb. 10, 2006).
- In March 2005, the Commission found that a federal employee's supervisor subjected him to hostile work environment harassment when he used a historically-offensive racist slur (n-word) in the employee's presence and at least once in reference to
him; treated him less favorably than he did White employees; verbally abused him; and subjected him to hazardous working conditions because of complainant's race (African-American). EEOC also found that the supervisor violated the anti-retaliation
provisions of Title VII when, standing behind the federal employee, he informed all employees that if they wanted to file an EEO complaint, they had to discuss it with him first. EEOC ordered the agency to determine complainant's entitlement to
compensatory damages; train the supervisor with regard to his obligations to eliminate discrimination in the federal workplace; and consider taking disciplinary action against the supervisor. Whidbee v. Department of the Navy,
EEOC Appeal No. 01A40193 (March 31, 2005).
- In November 2004, in a case against an upstate New York a computer parts manufacturer, EEOC alleged that Native American employees were subjected to frequent name-calling, war whoops, and other derogatory statements (comments about being "on the
warpath" and about scalpings, alcohol abuse, and living in tepees). The employees complained to several supervisors and the Human Resources Department, and the offending employees were occasionally warned, but the hostile environment continued. A
consent decree required the company to pay $200,000 to the victims and enjoined future discrimination; to actively recruit Native Americans for available positions; to implement and publish a policy and procedure for addressing harassment and
retaliation that includes an effective complaint procedure, and to report to EEOC on complaints of retaliation and harassment based on Native American heritage. EEOC v. Dielectric Labs, Inc. (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 14, 2007), available
- In November 2004, the Commission decided that, although racially charged comments were only made on one day, the nature of the comments, which included several racial slurs, was sufficiently severe to render work environment hostile.
Nicholas v. Department of Agriculture, EEOC Appeal No. 01A43603 (November 4, 2004).
- In September 2004, the Commission affirmed an AJ's finding that a Caucasian registered nurse had been subjected to racial harassment and constructive discharge. The AJ found that for approximately two and one-half years Black Health Technicians
refused to comply with her orders while following the orders of African American nurses; that one Health Technician told complainant that she would not take orders from a White nurse; and that Technicians screamed, banged on doors, blocked
complainant's exit when complainant asked for assistance. The AJ found that the harassment ultimately led to proposed disciplinary action and complainant's constructive discharge. The agency was ordered to reinstate complainant to a Registered Nurse
position in a different work area, with back pay and benefits, pay complainant $10,000 in compensatory damages, and provide training to her former unit. Menard v. Department of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 07A40004
(September 29, 2004), request for reconsideration denied, EEOC Request No. 05A50175 (January 18, 2005); http://www.eeoc.gov/decisions/05a50175.txt.
In December 2012, an office and technology supply store paid $85,000 and target recruitment of African-Americans and Hispanics to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The EEOC's lawsuit charged that OfficeMax violated federal law when
its store manager retaliated against a sales associate after the associate complained that he had been terminated because he is Hispanic. The store manager was required to immediately reinstate the sales associate, but then engaged in a series of
retaliatory actions designed to generate reasons to terminate him again and/or force the sales associate to resign, the agency alleged. In addition to the monetary settlement, the four year consent decree contained injunctive relief: OfficeMax
agreed to target additional recruitment efforts in the Sarasota/Bradenton area to reach more African American and Hispanic applicants, provide training for its management and human resource personnel in three locations in the Bradenton/Sarasota area
on racial harassment and retaliation, and will report future internal discrimination complaints to the EEOC. EEOC v. OfficeMax North America, Case No. 8:12-cv-00643-EAK-MAP (M.D. Fla. Dec. x, 2012).
In April 2012, a real estate company in Little Rock agreed to pay $600,000 to former employees and a class of applicants to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The EEOC's suit alleged that the company excluded
Black applicants for jobs at the company's Little Rock location based upon their race. The EEOC also alleged that the company retaliated against other employees and former employees for opposing or testifying about the race discrimination, by
demoting and forcing one out of her job and by suing others in state court. In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree requires the company to provide mandatory annual three-hour training on race discrimination and retaliation
under Title VII; have its president or another officer appear at the training to address the company's non-discrimination policy and the consequences for discriminating in the workplace; maintain records of race discrimination and retaliation
complaints; and provide annual reports to the EEOC. EEOC v. Bankers Asset Management, Inc., No. 4:10-CV-002070-SWW (E.D. Ark. Apr. 18, 2012).
In March 2012, a northern Nevada company agreed to pay $50,000 to a Black driver to settle an EEOC lawsuit alleging racial harassment and retaliation. In its complaint, the EEOC said the driver was subjected to racial slurs by a supervisor and
taunts by White employees. In one instance, the EEOC says a co-worker flaunted a swastika tattoo and talked about keeping the White race "pure." The lawsuit alleged that the driver was fired after complaining twice in one month about the treatment.
EEOC v. Sierra Restroom Solutions, LLC, Civ. No. 3:09-CV-00537 (D. Nev. Mar. 20, 2012).
In March 2012, a Warren, Mich.-based painting company which does business in several states, will pay $65,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The EEOC had charged that the company unlawfully retaliated against an employee for
objecting to race discrimination. In its lawsuit, the EEOC said that Atsalis retaliated against a journeyman painter, who complained about the use of the "N-word" by his foreman, by not bringing him back to work for the 2008 work season. In addition
to the monetary award, the decree requires the company to provide ongoing anti-discrimination training to all of the company's officers, managers, supervisors and human resources personnel; create a new anti-discrimination policy; institute new
procedures for handling discrimination complaints; and file reports with the EEOC regarding compliance with the decree's requirements. EEOC v. Atsalis Bros. Painting Co., Civil Action No. 11-cv-11296 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 9,
- In November 2011, a furniture company operating in several locations in Puerto Rico, agreed to pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a charge of retaliation at a worksite in San Juan. According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a Puerto Rican
store manager allegedly harassed a dark-complexioned Puerto Rican sales associate because of his skin color (e.g., taunting him about his color and asking why he was "so Black") and then fired him for complaining. In addition to requiring a payment
of damages, the consent decree settling the suit prohibits the furniture company from further retaliating against employees who complain about discrimination and requires the company to amend its current anti-discrimination policy to conform to EEOC
policy and to provide four hours of anti-discrimination training to all Koper employees, including management personnel, on a biannual basis. EEOC v. Koper Furniture, Inc., Case No. 09-1563 (JAG) (D.P.R. consent decree
approved Nov. 7, 2011)
- In April 2011, a long-term care facility located approximately four miles from Little Rock, Ark agreed to pay $22,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to settle an EEOC retaliation case. EEOC charged that the facility violated Title VII when
it fired a housekeeping supervisor allegedly because she had complained that she found certain comments by her supervisor racist and that she believed a watermelon-eating contest in the workplace had racist overtones. The EEOC further alleged that,
shortly after she complained, she was discharged for supposedly making "false, defamatory, and malicious statements" about a supervisor. Under the two-year consent decree, the company is enjoined from engaging in retaliation, must instate a new
policy on retaliation, and provide two hours of Title VII (including retaliation) training to all personnel in Little Rock. In addition, the company must submit two written reports to the EEOC regarding any future retaliation complaints and all
pertinent information related to potential complaints. The consent decree also requires the company to post a remedial notice for one year and to notify any potential successors of the consent decree. EEOC v. StoneRidge Health and
Rehab Center, LLC, Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-1414 JMM (E.D. Ark. consent decree filed April 25, 2011).
- In February 2011, the EEOC settled a suit against a Portland-based seafood processor and distributor for $85,000 on behalf of a warehouse worker. The lawsuit asserts that, after the warehouse worker spoke to management about race discrimination
because a non-Hispanic co-worker received a larger raise, he was told that if he was going to accuse the company of discrimination, they "should part ways." According to the terms of the settlement, the seafood distributor agreed to pay the employee
$85,000 and redraft its policies on discrimination and retaliation as well as provide employee training on workplace discrimination. EEOC v. Pacific Seafood Co., Inc., No. cv-08-1143-ST (D. Or. settled Feb. 3,
- In November 2010, a nationwide provider of engineering and janitorial services to commercial clients entered into a 4-year consent decree paying $90,000 in backpay and compensatory damages to settle the EEOC's claim that it discharged a building
services engineer at a mall in Bethesda, Maryland in retaliation for complaining of race and sex discrimination. EEOC alleged that the engineer reported to his supervisor that the mall's operations manager was engaging in race discrimination and
sexual harassment; the supervisor told the engineer to ignore the operations manager's conduct, and offered to relocate the engineer. EEOC also alleged that when the engineer declined to relocate, the provider discharged him. The decree also
requires the provider to draft and distribute written polices against employment discrimination in English and Spanish, which provide for effective complaint and investigation procedures, including a toll-free number and e-mail address for
complaints, to all employees and independent contractors who work for defendant in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The company will name an EEO officer to receive complaints of discrimination and retaliation, and starting in January 2011,
and every 6 months thereafter, will report to EEOC and to defendant's vice president of national operations on complaints of discrimination and retaliation received from applicants and employees in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia and the
outcome. Lastly, the company will provide discrimination and retaliation training of at least 2 hours to supervisors and managers in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.EEOC v. Crown Energy Services, Inc., No. PJM
8:09-CV-2572 (D. Md. Nov. 30, 2010).
- In September 2010, the EEOC sued an oil well servicing contractor for terminating an African-American employee allegedly because of his race and for complaining about racial discrimination. After being subjected to racial slurs and witnessing a
supervisor display a noose with a black stuffed animal hanging from it, the employee complained. Subsequent to the complaints, the employee was fired. EEOC v. Basic Energy Services L P, No. 5:10-cv-01497 (W.D. La. filed Sept.
- In September 2010, the EEOC filed suit against a Roanoke-based hair salon chain for allegedly firing an African American hair stylist for complaining about an assistant manager's racist comments. According to the EEOC's complaint, the assistant
manager subjected the Black stylist to racist slurs in two separate incidents occurring in March and April 2008. In each incident, the assistant manager made references to African-Americans using the N-word. On April 24, 2008, the Black stylist met
with her operations manager and salon manager and complained to both supervisors about the assistant manager's offensive remarks. The EEOC alleges that several weeks later, on May 17, 2008 the salon manager discharged the stylist in retaliation for
her race-related complaint. EEOC v. Tomlin Hair Care, Inc., dba Cost Cutters Family Hair Care, Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-43 (W.D. Va. filed Sept. 23, 2010).
- In August 2010, a North Carolina poultry processor entered a two-year consent decree agreeing to pay $40,000 to resolve an EEOC case alleging that the company engaged in unlawful retaliation. EEOC had asserted that the company gave an African
American employee an unjustifiably negative performance evaluation shortly after she filed two internal complaints with management about her White supervisor's use of racially offensive language about her and in her presence and when it discharged
her two weeks after she filed an EEOC charge because of her dissatisfaction with the company's response to her discrimination complaints. In accordance with the consent decree, the company must adopt, implement, and post a formal, written
anti-discrimination policy, provide annual Title VII training for all managers and supervisors and report to the EEOC semi-annually on any instances where employees opposed unlawful employer practices. EEOC v. Mountaire Farms of North
Carolina Corp., Civil Action No. 7:09-CV-00147 (E.D.N.C. August 6, 2010)
- In October 2007, the Commission obtained $2 million for approximately 50 claimants in this Title VII lawsuit alleging that defendant subjected employees in its three Illinois restaurant/gift stores to sex and race discrimination and retaliation,
causing the constructive discharge of some employees. Female employees were subjected to offensive sexual comments and touching by managers and coworkers; Black employees to racially derogatory language, and directives to wait on customers that
White employees refused to serve and to work in the smoking section; and a White employee to racially offensive language because of her association with a Black employee. The 2-year consent decree prohibits the company from engaging in sex and race
discrimination and retaliation at the three stores. EEOC v. David Maus Toyota, Civil Action No. 6:05cv-1452-ORL-28-KRS (M.D. Fla. Oct. 30, 2007).
- In July 2006, EEOC reached a $100,000 settlement in its Title VII lawsuit against a Springfield, Missouri grocery chain alleging that a Black assistant manager was subjected to racially derogatory comments and epithets and was permanently
suspended in retaliation for complaining about his store manager's racial harassment of him and the manager's sexual harassment of another worker. EEOC v. Roswil, Inc. d/b/a Price Cutters Supermarket, No. 06-3287-CV-S-WAK (W.D.
Mo. July 27, 2006).
- In November 2005, the EEOC obtained a $317,000 settlement in a Title VII case alleging that an extended stay hotel business discharged and otherwise retaliated against a district manager (DM) for six properties in Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia
because she complained about race discrimination. The DM, a White female, e-mailed Defendant's Chief Operating Officer in September 2001 expressing her concerns about the exclusion of African Americans and other racial minorities from management
positions. Despite being considered a stellar performer, following her e-mail, the DM was reprimanded, threatened with a PIP, accused of being disloyal to the company, and terminated. The 24-month consent decree applies to all of Defendant's
facilities in Georgia and include requirements that Defendant create and institute a nonretaliation policy, advise all employees that it will not retaliate against them for complaining about discrimination, and instruct all management and
supervisory personnel about the terms of the decree and provide them with annual training on Title VII's equal employment obligations, including nonretaliation. EEOC v. InTown Suites Management, Inc., No. 1:03-CV-1494-RLV (N.D.
Ga. Nov. 21, 2005).
- In February 2005, EEOC settled a retaliation case against Burger King for $65,000, on behalf of a Caucasian manager who was terminated after refusing to comply with a Black customer's preference that a "White boy" not make her sandwich.
EEOC v. Star City LLC d/b/a Burger King, No. 6:03-cv-00077 (W.D. Va. consent decree filed Feb. 11, 2005).
In March 2012, a Fairfax County, Va.-based stone contracting company agreed to pay $40,000 and furnish other significant relief to settle an EEOC lawsuit alleging national origin, religion and color discrimination. According to the EEOC's suit,
an estimator and assistant project manager was subjected to derogatory comments from his supervisors, project manager and the company's owner on the basis of his national origin (Pakistani), religion (Islam), and color (brown). The lawsuit indicated
that the comments occurred almost daily and included things like telling the estimator he was the same color as human feces. The lawsuit also alleged that the estimator was told that his religion (Islam), was "f---ing backwards," and "f---ing
crazy," and was asked why Muslims are such "monkeys." Pursuant to the three-year consent decree enjoining the company from engaging in any further discrimination against any person on the basis of color, national origin, or religion, the contracting
company also agreed to redistribute the company's anti-harassment policy to each of its current employees; post its anti-harassment policies in all of its facilities and work sites; provide anti-harassment training to its managers, supervisors and
employees; and post a notice about the settlement. EEOC v. Rugo Stone, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-915 (E.D. Va. Mar. 7, 2012).
In April 2011, the EEOC found that the transportation department engaged in race and color discrimination when it failed to select the Complainant, the Acting Division Secretary, for the position of Division Secretary. The EEOC found the Agency's
explanation to be "so fraught with contradiction as not to be credible," and thus, a pretext for discrimination. The EEOC noted that Complainant discussed her experience as Acting Division Secretary in her KSA responses, and, contrary to the
Agency's assertion, made numerous references to acting as a Division Secretary in her application. The EEOC ordered the placement of Complainant into the Division Secretary position, with appropriate back pay and benefits, and payment of attorney's
fees and costs. Bowers v. Dep't of Transp., EEOC Appeal No. 0720100034 (Apr. 15, 2011).
- In February 2009, a discount retail chain agreed to pay $7,500 to resolve an EEOC lawsuit alleging that Title VII was violated when a light skinned Black female manager subjected darker skinned African American employees to a hostile and abusive
work environment because of their color. The lawsuit alleged that the manager told one employee she looked as "Black as charcoal" and repeatedly called her "charcoal" until she quit. The parties entered a consent decree that enjoins the company from
engaging in color discrimination or retaliation. Pursuant to the consent decree, the retail chain's store manager and assistant managers must receive training on color discrimination, the chain must keep records on any complaint of color
discrimination and all information related to the complaint, and it must submit reports on these matters to the EEOC. EEOC v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-06996 (N.D. Ill. settled Feb. 17, 2009).
- In April 2008, a national video store entered a consent decree to pay $80,000 and to provide neutral references for the claimant in resolution of the EEOC's Title VII lawsuit against it. The EEOC alleged that the store engaged in color
discrimination when a Bangladeshi employee who was assigned to be store manager of a Staten Island location allegedly was told by her district supervisor that Staten Island was a predominantly White neighborhood and that she should change her dark
skin color if she wanted to work in the area. EEOC asserted that the supervisor also allegedly told her that she really should be working in Harlem with her dark skin color and threatened to terminate her if she did not accept a demotion and a
transfer to the Harlem store. The employee also was subjected to national origin discrimination based on her name and accent when the district supervisor allegedly excluded the employee from staff meetings because he said the other employees could
not understand her accent and asked her to change her name because the customers could not pronounce it. The consent decree enjoins the video store from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin and requires the store to post a
remedial notice in the store in question and the EEO Poster in all locations across the country. EEOC v. Blockbuster, Inc., C.A. No. 1:07-cv-02221 (S.D.N.Y. filed settled Apr. 7, 2008).
- In May 2006, the Commission won a Title VII case filed on behalf of Asian Indian legal aliens who were victims of human trafficking, enslavement, and job segregation because of their race, national origin, and dark-skinned color.
Chellen & EEOC v. John Pickle Co., Inc., 434 F.Supp.2d 1069 (N.D. Okl. 2006).
- In August 2003, the EEOC obtained a $40,000 settlement on behalf of an African American former employee who was discriminated against based on his dark skin color by a light skinned African American manager, and terminated when he complained to
corporate headquarters. EEOC v. Applebee's Int'l Inc., No. 1:02-CV-829 (D. Ga. Aug. 7, 2003).