Roofing firm agrees to settle over racist remarks

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Detroit Lakes-based Herzog Roofing has agreed to pay $71,500 to settle a racial harassment charge filed by former employees. The money will be split among seven blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans who alleged they were subjected to racial epithets, racist jokes and other forms of workplace bias.

The workers complained to management, but the company allegedly took no steps to stop the harassment and discrimination.

The EEOC investigated, concluding that the workers’ allegations were probably true. That’s when Herzog Roofing elected to settle the complaint rather than go to court.

In addition to the money, the company agreed to provide anti-­discrimination training to all employees. Managers, supervisors and owners will receive additional anti-discrimination training including sessions on harassment and retaliation.

Note: The workplace culture in small companies can sometimes make it difficult to enforce anti-harassment rules. Employers must set a professional tone to ensure that all employees have a harassment-free workplace. Supervisors must be trained to interrupt the cycle of har­ass­ment when they discover it.

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