SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a lawsuit against the Taylor
Shellfish Company, the United States’ largest producer of
shellfish, for allegedly allowing ongoing racial harassment and retaliatory discipline
against a black maintenance mechanic.
According to the EEOC, Jeremy Daniels faced racial harassment
from the moment he started work at the company’s Samish Bay Farm. Daniels
was allegedly treated to demeaning comments, including variations of the “N
word.” Additionally, his manager purportedly retaliated
against him by giving him less desirable jobs. When Daniels complained to
management, the EEOC charges that management told him to get thicker skin.
"My supervisor 'welcomed' me to the job with the
information that I was the first black person to work at Taylor for a long
time, and that his father used to run 'my kind' out of town," Daniels
said. "In the military, when I traveled around the world for my country, I
never encountered anyone who made me feel that I was less than them simply
because of the color of my skin. But when I went to work for Taylor, I was
constantly robbed of my dignity for simply being black."
The commission seeks monetary damages for
Daniels and injunctive relief to bar the Taylor Shellfish Company from future
"The day that a worker is judged by race instead of
work performance should be long behind us," EEOC senior trial attorney
Teri Healy said. "I hope the commission's lawsuit sends a clear message that
employers who turn a blind eye to racial discrimination will only multiply the
problems besetting their workplace."