Construction company settles $1.2M racial harassment, retaliation suit

According to a press release, a Baltimore-headquartered construction firm and general contractor will pay $1.2 million to a class of former workers to settle a race harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).Photo courtesy Bigstock.

A Baltimore-headquartered construction firm and general contractor will pay $1.2 million to a class of former workers to settle a race harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the firm served as the prime contractor for the construction of the Google Data Center in Clarksville, Tennessee. EEOC’s allegations state that from at least May 2018 through the fall of 2019, the firm subjected Black employees who worked at a construction jobsite to a racially hostile work environment and retaliated against two employees after they complained about race discrimination.

According to EEOC, the discriminatory treatment included referring to Black employees in a derogatory manner, while many porta potties and buildings on the jobsite were defaced with racially offensive graffiti and a noose was displayed in the workplace on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

The report by EEOC further stated that although Black employees reported these issues to the contractor several times, the company failed to investigate the complaints and instead fired two employees after they complained about the discrimination.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race and retaliation for complaining about discriminatory treatment. The EEOC filed the lawsuit (Case No. 3:21-cv-00753) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, after first seeking to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Further, according to the press release, along with the monetary relief, the two-year consent decree, entered by Chief District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., requires the firm to incorporate a strict prohibition against racial graffiti, jokes, slurs, epithets, and hate symbols into its anti-harassment policy; assign an EEO liaison to each of its construction sites; and conduct semi-annual training on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Construction companies must take immediate steps to combat race discrimination on worksites. That action includes making sure its managers and supervisors are trained on Title VII and take prompt action at the first sign of trouble. It is our hope that the injunctive and monetary relief obtained through this lawsuit will serve as a reminder to other construction companies that the EEOC remains committed to eradicating race discrimination in the construction industry,” says EEOC trial attorney, Roslyn Griffin Pack.

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3 comments on “Construction company settles $1.2M racial harassment, retaliation suit”

  1. EEOC in Memphis fails to investigate discrimination against white people and dismisses claims where a white person is the victim. There are no decision makers at the Memphis EEOC that is white. The EEOC a federal government entity intentionally left out the word “white” or Caucasian where it describes protection of peoples, by doing such white people are not a covered class of peoples, in other words you have no claim in the instance of discrimination. Also 89% of all companies in the U.S.A. are less than 21-employees and when a company has less than 21-employees the employer is not fall under federal rules. Hispanics however, including the people that crossed the border over this past 2-years are defined as a covered class of peoples, they have rights and white people do not have rights. Hispanics including recent immigrants also qualify for government jobs in a “priority hire or quota hiring” and they get (1) Point for being considered a minority and if a female they get another (1) Point whereas a white male gets (0) Points and won’t make it through the hiring process. If you do not like this you should write an email to your governor now.

    A great questions are:

    1) At what level of Hispanic Population removes their “minority status”? Currently there are 72-million Hispanics in the United States. Of just Mexican ethnicity there are 43-million+ counted on record. Since Biden took office 5.5-million immigrants crossed the south border.

    2) Ask the EEOC and Census why they have split the United States Population into three groups and compare either Hispanics or African Americans to people classified as White which contains over 70+ ethnicities, but don’t compare the first two groups to each other.

    3) Ask the EEOC and Census why they don’t just compare People of Color to people classified as White. There are 186-million People of Color considered minorities and 165-million people considered white. In fact there are some people considered white that are also classified as a minority making the quantity of “White” smaller. At what point does the growing class of people considered “minorities” be flipped to being a majority according to the EEOC, Census and PEW?

    4) Ask the EEOC, PEW, Census, and your Legislature why new immigrants have more rights for government jobs and contracts than your family that may have been American tax payers for hundreds of years.

    5) Ask the EEOC, PEW, Census if they have performed a study yet on how separating America’s White population has contributed to villainizing White peoples in the United States.

    6) Ask the EEOC, PEW, Census why America should continue to use a “national quantity” as the consideration of what is a “minority” rather than a local demographic such as city, county, state demographic. In Los Angeles, Houston, El Paso, New Mexico Hispanics are the majority. In Atlanta, Memphis and several other cities African Americans are the majority. In Memphis the population is 650,000 but 35,000 are White and the remainder are African American.

    7) Why not ask for an acknowledgement of what “minority” means because the dictionary means the fewer.

    8) The largest single ethnicity in the United States today is Mexican at 43-million. There are 42,890,000 Germans in the United States placing Germans 2nd. There are 48-million African Americans of various ethnicities and millions of half-African Americans.

    It’s time we had the conversation.


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