Chemical company Mineral Met has agreed to pay $440,000 to settle an EEOC race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed on behalf of black employees at its Cleveland plant.
The case began after Langston Satterwhite, a quality-control supervisor, was disciplined for minor infractions. He said similarly situated white employees hadn’t been disciplined for the same kinds of rules violations.
In fact, Satterwhite had been complaining internally about systemic discrimination against blacks throughout the Cleveland facility. In one case, a white supervisor had placed a hangman’s noose on a piece of machinery.
Shortly after he complained, the company moved Satterwhite’s office from the second floor, where all other managers’ offices were located, to the basement, where his subordinates worked. The company relieved Satterwhite of some of his duties and subjected him to greater scrutiny. Eventually, he could no longer tolerate the conditions and quit.
When the EEOC investigated, Mineral Met settled. Besides paying Satterwhite, the company will train managers and supervisors about racial discrimination and monitor their behavior to ensure no new discrimination occurs.