The staffing firm Day & Zimmerman received an employee’s complaints about racial harassment and physical abuse and then allegedly, disregarded and retaliated against the employee by firing him. Specifically, the complaint alleged that a foreman at Day & Zimmerman’s Poletti Power Plant, located in Queens, New York, created a hostile work environment for African-American employee Carlos Hughes. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the foreman frequently tripped and kicked Hughes, and often made racially offensive comments such as “black folks deserve to get shot,” “black folks are good at basketball because they can steal and shoot,” and “blacks are the worst people in the world.” Who even thinks that such comments are appropriate in any setting, let alone in an employment setting? Apparently, HR thought such comments were acceptable because the harassing behavior continued for more than a year despite Hughes’ repeated complaints. Then, after Day & Zimmerman finally agreed to a meeting to discuss the complaints, it fired.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, including racial harassment. The Act also prohibits employer retaliation against employees who complain about discrimination or assist with the investigation of such complaints. Retaliation can happen in a number of ways. In this case, after complaining about the foreman’s discriminatory and harassing conduct, Hughes was abruptly fired. The law is very clear that it is especially inappropriate when an employee’s complaints about workplace discrimination are met with further discrimination and retaliation. Employers should not overlook workplace harassment of any kind.
In this case, the employer refused to recognize the error of its ways until attorneys got involved and suit was file. Despite the obvious, sometimes that is what it takes. In this case, the discrimination and retaliation ended up costing the employer $190,000 to settle the case.
If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at (216) 291-4744, you will meet with an attorney from The Spitz Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.
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