Civil construction and environmental cleanup firm WRS Compass has lost its bid to have racial discrimination and harassment charges dismissed stemming from incidents at a Chicago work site.
The EEOC filed a lawsuit alleging that black workers at a work site in Lake Calumet were subject to a hostile work environment. The harassment allegedly involved nooses and Confederate flags hung in the workplace. The commission brought the suit on behalf of seven black workers who were fired after complaining about the alleged harassment, plus five white employees who allegedly experienced retaliation for supporting their black co-workers.
A federal judge in Illinois ruled against the company’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that a jury should decide whether nooses and Confederate flags in the workplace constituted racial harassment. The case is set for trial in May 2012.
WRS Compass is based in Florida.