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Thursday, November 21, 2019

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION: Arizona Discount Movers to Pay $54,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Harassment Case

By Press release submission | Oct 21, 2019


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued the following announcement on Oct. 15.

Arizona Discount Movers of Phoenix will pay $54,000 and furnish other relief to settle a racial harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced. The EEOC said the company subjected an African American employee to egregious racial harassment and forced him to quit to escape the abuse.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a supervisor at Arizona Discount Movers frequently made racist comments to an African American employee named Clinton Lee. The EEOC alleged that the supervisor also told Lee he could not enter the building because they were having a Ku Klux Klan meeting and put a statue of a jockey on his desk with a whip in the jockey's hand tied in a noose. He labelled the statue "Clint." According to the EEOC, the same supervisor hung a troll doll painted black with a Post-it affixed to the doll that read, "Clint King." The doll was hung from a hook and displayed in the middle of the facility. The EEOC also alleged that Lee's super­visor pointed to the doll and said "Hey Clint look! That's you!" Lee complained to the owner, who told Lee to take the doll down if he did not like it. Lee felt he had to resign because of the harass­ment, and the EEOC further alleged that, since 2011, Arizona Discount Movers has required its employees sign a two-page "Rules and Employee Agreement," which included both "Negative attitudes, fighting, complainers will not be tolerated here" and "Drugs, fighting, foul language, racism, arguing will be tolerated."

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, including racial harassment. The EEOC filed its suit (EEOC v. Arizona Discount Movers, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-01966-HRH) in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The lawsuit was resolved by a consent decree, which was signed by District Court Judge H. Russel Holland. The consent decree requires Arizona Discount Movers to pay Lee $54,000 and provide him with a written apology, as well as a positive reference letter. The company must also develop policies against dis­crimination and against retaliation, provide training on discrimination, furnish the EEOC with periodic reports, and post a notice about the lawsuit and about employees' rights. The consent decree also includes a permanent injunction enjoining the company from engaging in any further racially discriminatory practices.

Original source can be found here.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission