SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced July 31 that Taylor Shellfish, the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the United States, will pay $160,000 after allegations of racial harassment.
"This case served as an appalling reminder of the challenges that black individuals continue to face in the United States," said EEOC senior trial attorney Teri Healy. "Our office [recently] filed suit concerning racial harassment in nearby Oak Harbor, where the harassers used similar racially charged terms. We want to send a clear message to employers that this kind of behavior is inexcusable and must not be tolerated in the workplace."
EEOC alleges a black mechanic at the company’s Samish Bay Farm was subjected to repeated demeaning comments about his race. When the employee complained to management, the supervisor allegedly retaliated by advising him to “put his head down and do what he was told.”
"Let us be clear, employers must take swift action to end harassment,” said Nancy Sienko, Seattle field director for the EEOC's San Francisco District. “Employees who encounter similarly charged comments and stereotyping should know that the EEOC will investigate workplace abuses fully."