The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that Day & Zimmerman NPS, a leading supplier of maintenance, labor, and construction services to the power industry, has agreed to pay $190,000 to settle a racial harassment and hostile work environment lawsuit.
The EEOC claimed that the Day & Zimmerman foreman at the Poletti Power Plant in Astoria, Queens, New York, subjected African-American employee Carlos Hughes to a hostile work environment that included ongoing and numerous incidents of verbal and physical racial harassment for over a year.
According to the EEOC, the foreman frequently insulted African-Americans, told racist jokes at work, and referred to African-Americans as stupid and incompetent.
The EEOC alleged that the foreman tripped Hughes many times and kicked Hughes in the buttocks on one occasion.
Hughes allegedly complained to management about the hostile work environment numerous times for more than a year until Day & Zimmerman finally agreed to hold a meeting. According to the EEOC, less than an hour after the meeting, the company disciplined Hughes and then fired him later that day, citing a fales safety violation as a reason.
Elizabeth Grossman, an EEOC regional attorney, said,”Race harassment has absolutely no place in any workplace. Derogatory and hateful language poisons the work environment and creates a serious emotional toll on affected employees.”