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Settlement in Lake Calumet EEOC race bias lawsuit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

WRS Compass will pay $2.75 million to settle an EEOC racial discrimination and association lawsuit filed on behalf of workers at the environmental cleanup company’s facility in Lake Calumet. (See “Needle points toward court for WRS Compass.”)

According to the lawsuit, seven black employees at the site were subjected to racial epithets, nooses, less favorable assignments and physical threats from co-workers. Two of those workers were laid off when they complained of the discrimination.

Four white co-workers who sided with the black workers were also allegedly harassed and threatened.

The Florida-based company agreed to a three-year consent decree requiring it to revise its anti-discrimination policy and conduct training. It must also develop a policy for investigating discrimination and harassment complaints and evaluate its supervisors on their compliance with that policy. The company must report all new harassment complaints to the EEOC.

Note: When the EEOC discovered the company had no policy for re­­porting harassment, WRS Compass had no choice but to settle.

Advice: Develop a policy, post it and follow it.

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