U.S. alleges employees faced racial harassment at 2 Mississippi companies

By Marian Johns | Oct 9, 2018

MEMPHIS — The federal government has filed a lawsuit against two Mississippi companies, alleging African- American employees suffered daily harassment and humiliation due to their race. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges Prewitt Enterprises Inc., doing business as B&P Enterprises and Desoto Marine LLC, violated federal law by allowing its black employees to be subjected to racial discrimination.  

In its suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Western Division, the EEOC says black employees faced profane, offensive and derogatory terms such as "n---r," "monkey," "boy" and "mule" from supervisors. Black employees were also subjected to racial references such as slavery, plantations and lynching. In addition, the black employees were assigned the most dangerous and hazardous jobs, the lawsuit alleges. 

"The egregious nature of the racial harassment in this case is astonishing and disheartening," EEOC Memphis District Office director Delner Franklin-Thomas said in a statement."It is inconceivable that more than 54 years after the establishment of the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, racial equality in the workplace remains a dream deferred.

"Unfortunately, there is still much work to be done before we can achieve our vision of a respectful and inclusive workplace for all." 

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U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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