$325,000 Settlement in Race, Color and National Origin Discrimination, Training Ordered

Friday, March 31, 2017

Question:  Would discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

 Decatur, Ill.-based company King-Lar will pay $325,000 to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In its lawsuit, the EEOC accused King-Lar, which provides custom sheet metal and HVAC work, of allowing its white employees to verbally harass and threaten a black employee of Puerto Rican origin, which ultimately led to a brutal physical assault. The national origin and color harassment allegedly included slurs such as "s..c," "n....r," "Mexican n----r," and "wetback." The EEOC also claimed that King-Lar management, including one of its owners, knew about the discrimination and failed to act to stop it.

Harassment against an employee because of his race, color or national origin violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit against King-Lar on Aug. 19, 2015, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC v. King-Lar, Co, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-03238, is pending before U.S. District Judge Bruce in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Urbana Division.

In addition to providing for the $325,000 in monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit mandates that King-Lar have a system where employees can complain anonymously online or to a 1-800 number; train its employees on harassment and discrimination; and make clear that King-Lar will take allegations of discrimination seriously.

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