MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Dec. 21 against
Hiatt & Mason Enterprises Inc., a structural steel erection services
company, over allegations of subjecting a black employee to a racially hostile
EEOC claims that Paul Bowman began work as a laborer at
Hiatt & Mason’s facility in Mount Airy, N.C.
around March 2014. While he worked there, Bowman was allegedly racially
harassed by a white foreman and some co-workers. Purported misconduct
included near daily use of the N-word
and other racial epithets. Bowman left the company around March 2016.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans employers
from allowing a racially hostile work environment. EEOC seeks monetary relief
for Bowman as well as injunctive relief to stop future discrimination by the
"Employers must take appropriate action to stop
employees' use of racial slurs in the workplace," said Lynette A. Barnes,
regional attorney for EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "EEOC takes a
company's disregard for the federally protected rights of its employees very
seriously and will prosecute cases where this kind of abuse occurs."