EEOC extinguishes Cintas’ harassment fire

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Uniform supplier Cintas will pay $152,000 to workers at its Conshohocken facility after agreeing to settle an EEOC race and sexual harassment suit.

The suit stemmed from a supervisor’s sexual and racial harassment of black workers in Cintas’ fire-protection division.

The affected workers toiled in a unit that refurbished and refilled fire extinguishers. The supervisor frequently called the unit the “ghetto division” and often referred to workers by nicknames such as “chocolate” and “chocolate delicious.” He regaled his subordinates with tales of his sexual exploits and often asked them for sexual favors.

When employees Claude Ashe and Armand Upchurch complained, the supervisor told them no one would believe them because they were black. The supervisor, however, used a racial epithet rather than describing them as black when making the statement.

Ultimately, Ashe, Upchurch and other black employees were fired in what the EEOC said was retaliation for their complaints.

In addition to the monetary compensation, Cintas will immediately inform the EEOC of any harassment or discrimination complaints from the Conshohocken facility.

Advice: Address all harassment and discrimination complaints promptly and professionally. If you don’t, you will become complicitous in the harassment.

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