You may think you have a problem when a single employee complains to the EEOC that he’s been the victim of race discrimination, harassment or some other form of bias. That’s nothing compared to what happens when that one complaint mushrooms into a class-action lawsuit.
That can easily happen if harassment involves such flashpoints as hangman’s nooses, racially derogatory comments, racial epithets or graffiti.
Remember, the EEOC has investigative powers and may demand access to your employment records—seeking the names and addresses of all black employees who work or have worked at your company. That should be a powerful enough reason to be proactive about eliminating anything that smacks of racial harassment.
Recent case: When several black employees went to the EEOC with allegations that Yellow Transportation allowed a racially hostile work environment to exist, the agency launched an investigation.
Ultimately, 14 black employees signed on to the complaint. The EEOC requested permission from the court to represent all similarly situated black employees after hearing that the facility in question had racist graffiti and that black employees were called racially charged names and had to endure the presence of hangman’s nooses in the workplace.
The EEOC wanted a complete list of all black employees who had worked at the facility between 2004 and 2009. The company balked, arguing that there was no evidence, for example, that blacks inhad been subjected to racism. But the court said the agency had the right to look at all positions within the facility. (EEOC v. Yellow Transportation, et al., No. 09-C-7693, ND IL, 2010)
Final note: To understand the implication of a noose in the workplace, consider that between 1882 and 1968, almost 3,500 black Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs. Billy Holiday’s classic song “Strange Fruit” tells the story of a lynching; the “strange fruit” are bodies hanging in the trees. James Baldwin’s classic short story “Going to See the Man” tells the story of a lynching in graphic detail. Many blacks still carry these images with them, which is why a noose is so disturbing.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/12321/stamp-out-harassment-fast-or-risk-eeoc-case-that-snowballs-out-of-control "