MINNEAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a
lawsuit Nov. 3 against JL Schwieters Construction Inc. of Hugo, Minnesota, over
allegations of subjecting African-American employees to a hostile work
environment based on their race.
EEOC claims that William
Staple and Dion Pye worked for JL
Construction Inc. as carpenters
between September 2012 and December 2013. The two employees were purportedly
subjected to racial harassment by a white supervisor. The discrimination
allegedly included derogatory comments. The supervisor purportedly threatened to hang Staple and Pye.
According to EEOC, other
supervisors witnessed the harassment but did not take action to stop it. Alleged
conduct of this nature violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC
seeks compensatory damage and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.
“Racial discrimination and
harassment are always unconscionable and illegal, but a situation where
African-Americans are called racial slurs and threatened with a noose and gun
is utterly shocking and unacceptable in the 21st century,” said John
Hendrickson, regional attorney for EEOC's Chicago District. “EEOC will vigorously
fight to stop such severe and cruel practices in any workplace.”