(Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
announced Jan. 10 that Gonnella Baking Co. of Chicago will pay $30,000 to
resolve allegations of racial harassment at the company’s Aurora, Illinois. facility.
are responsible for putting an end to co-worker harassment when they become aware
of it," said Gregory Gochanour, EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago.
"That includes the responsibility to take seriously every allegation of
race harassment, and then to investigate thoroughly and take appropriate
actions to eliminate the misconduct."
to EEOC, the company did not take action when a black employee complained of
racial harassment. The black employee allegedly told management that he had been
subjected to disparaging racial comments by coworkers. The company’s alleged
failure to properly respond to the complaint is a violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964.
harassment is not limited to explicit racial slurs, and can include any
offensive conduct directed toward an employee because of his race,” said EEOC's
Chicago District director, Julianne Bowman. “Requiring an employee to endure
persistent references to offensive racial stereotypes or jokes in the workplace
is a violation of the law."