ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Sept. 14 against G.N.T. Inc., doing business as GNT Foods and operating a grocery store in East Point, Georgia, for allegations of subjecting three African-American employees to a racially hostile work environment.
"Employers have a duty to protect their workforce from racially offensive conduct and to take immediate corrective action when necessary," said Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. "When a company's owner is the one disregarding federal anti-discrimination laws in such a manner, the EEOC's involvement is indispensable to ensure that employee rights are upheld."
The EEOC says Corey Bussey, Justin Jones and Christopher Evans worked at GNT Foods’ meat department. The three employers were purportedly subject to racial slurs on a daily basis. Additionally, the owner of the store displayed racist posters on the walls of the meat department designed to humiliate black employees.
"Unfortunately, too many employees are discouraged from asserting their rights due to official misconduct such as this. Employers must be cognizant that the EEOC will vigorously prosecute these types of cases to protect our community's workforce,” said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office.
The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Bussey, Jones and Evans, as well as injunctive relief to stop the grocery store from committing discrimination in the future.