Cullman Company To Pay $100,000 To Settle Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Friday, July 2, 2010
McGriff Industries, Inc. and its subsidiary McGriff Transportation,  Inc., which operated a truck transportation facility in Cullman, Ala., will pay  $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a racial harassment and retaliation  lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the  agency announced.

According to the EEOC, certain employees and managers in the Cullman facility routinely  used racially derogatory comments, slurs, and insults directed at or about African-Americans. The racial  misconduct escalated to threats and intimidation, including a derogatory threat  to cut one of the black employees. White  and black employees were offended by the racial misconduct, but were rebuffed  and retaliated against -- one employee was terminated and another had  his work assignments changed -- when they complained.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of  1964 protects employees from employment discrimination because of their race,  sex, religion or national origin and from retaliation for complaining about  it. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District  Court for the Northern District of Alabama Northeastern Division (Civil Action 5:09-CV-01952-IPJ) after first attempting to reach a  pre-litigation settlement.

The  settlement, by consent decree entered by the court on June 22, 2010, provides  for a total payment of $100,000 to Todd A. Roseborough, Sr., Paul Hogan and Aaron  Greenwood. The decree also includes  injunctive terms applicable to each of McGriff’s offices, facilities and retail  establishments in the state of Alabama. Among other requirements, McGriff must develop  and implement effective anti-discrimination policies and procedures, and train  its employees, supervisors and managers on the prohibitions against racial  misconduct in the workplace. The company  will develop a system for reporting, investigating and addressing complaints of  workplace racial misconduct; hold all employees accountable for engaging in it;  and hold supervisors and managers accountable for tolerating or failing to  address such misconduct.

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