A trucking company has settled a racial discrimination lawsuit for $11 million, according to a statement from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC brought the lawsuit on behalf of a group of African American employees who said that they endured race-based harassment and discrimination for many years.
The settlement covers incidents that happened between 2002 and 2009. About 324 employees will be eligible to make claims to portions of the settlement. Among the many allegations made against the trucking company, the employees said that they found hangman’s noses and racist graffiti in a terminal where they often worked.
They also endured racist comments and cartoons being displayed in the workplace.
“From what we found … this would happen over and over again and there was no effective response from the company that said ‘This is not acceptable’ or ‘This is not allowed,'” said the EEOC trial attorney in this case. “So it kept happening again and again and again.”
However, the misconduct was not limited to their coworkers. The complaint that the EEOC filed in court said that the African American employees were given more difficult work assignments and were subject to harsher scrutiny and discipline by their employer.
The $11 million settlement will likely go to pay for any lost wages or promotional opportunities suffered by the aggrieved employees. They may also be able to make a claim for the emotional distress and suffering that they experienced from the racist harassment.
The company did not accept liability as a part of the settlement, which means that they did not admit to any of the allegations or admit that they were at fault.
Source: UPI, “Firm settles discrimination case for $11M” June 30, 2012.