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 work environment.
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 company.
"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."