Schuff Steel Company settles an EEOC lawsuit by paying $500,000 and enforcing policy changes. Allegations of racial and national origin harassment and retaliation at its Arizona plant led to the settlement. The lawsuit accused the company of Title VII violations for racial slurs, discriminatory behavior, and retaliatory actions against complaining employees.
Schuff Steel Company, headquartered in Phoenix, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) amounting to $500,000, following a lawsuit alleging racial and national origin harassment and retaliation. This resolution stems from reported violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, centering on discriminatory actions against Black and Latino workers at the company's Eloy, Arizona plant.
The lawsuit outlined a distressing pattern of misconduct, citing instances where the Eloy plant manager engaged in racial harassment by using derogatory language and racial slurs, notably the use of the N-word against Black employees and derogatory terms aimed at Latino workers. The manager also demeaned Latino employees based on their English-speaking abilities and openly expressed racially charged sentiments, such as proclaiming "white power" in front of Black staff members.
Furthermore, the EEOC claimed that when employees raised complaints regarding the harassment, the company retaliated by either terminating their employment or relocating them to unfavorable shifts, such as night shifts.
The resolution, encapsulated in a three-year consent decree, necessitates pivotal changes within Schuff Steel. The company is obliged to remunerate $500,000 to the aggrieved employees and undertake significant measures to rectify its practices. This includes the revision of EEO policies by external consultants or legal counsel, provision of anti-discrimination training to employees and management, and dissemination of policies in both English and Spanish. Additionally, a dedicated hotline will be established for reporting discrimination or harassment incidents.
Mary Jo O’Neill, Regional Attorney at the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, emphasized the fundamental right of employees to a harassment-free work environment, irrespective of their racial or national background. This settlement reinforces the EEOC's commitment to eradicating discrimination across all industries and emphasizes the necessity for stringent EEO policies and immediate action to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination.
The settlement between Schuff Steel Company and the EEOC, amounting to $500,000, resolves a lawsuit alleging racial and national origin harassment and retaliation. This resolution underscores the imperative need for workplaces to uphold a discrimination-free environment and emphasizes the EEOC's steadfast stance against employment discrimination.