Pape Material Handling to Pay $650,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Harassment Lawsuit Company Failed to Address Racial Slurs and Harassment of Hispanics

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pape Material Handling, Inc., a nationwide company that sells, rents, and services forklift products, will pay $650,000 to settle a harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. This settlement was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

--- HR Classroom Diversity Training, National Origin Discrimination, Tips: Online Discrimination and Harassment training that instructs an employee how to report problems at work, and assures them they will not be retaliated against for making a report, will often lessen the consequences of bad actors. Interviewing and Hiring Training, and Online Diversity Training of supervisors and employees may have prevented this costly case with the EEOC, and protected the employees involved. --- 

The EEOC's lawsuit charged Pape Material Handling with allowing employees at its Fresno, Calif., facility to engage in ongoing harassment of Hispanic employees. Such harassment included mocking employees' accents and using derogatory slurs. The EEOC claimed that the company failed to address employee complaints, leaving employees to quit as their only recourse to avoid the misbehavior.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Pape Material Handling, Inc., Case No.: 1:17-cv-01291-AWI-BAM).

In addition to the monetary relief, Pape Material Handling will obtain an EEO consultant; conduct internal audits; review and revise its anti-harassment policies; create complaint procedures; develop a centralized tracking system for harassment and discrimination complaints; implement training for its human resources and hiring personnel; and submit annual reports to the EEOC verifying compliance with this decree. The court will maintain jurisdiction of the case for the decree's three-year term.

"Employers have a responsibility to create a respectful work environment for all of their employees," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes California's Central Valley. "The measures taken by Pape Material Handling should prevent further discrimination and harassment in that workplace."

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