The EEOC alleges that Carolina Mattress Guild, based in Thomasville, failed to address black workers’ complaints of a racially hostile work environment and then fired one employee in retaliation for having complained.
According to court papers, a truck loader complained internally that a white employee continually used racial epithets. Three days later, the truck loader was fired.
He and another black employee filed a complaint with the EEOC. When conciliation efforts failed, the EEOC sued on their behalf. The lawsuit seeks monetary relief, including back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief and reinstatement for the truck loader.
Note: Investigate all harassment complaints quickly and professionally—and be sure to document your investigation. Should the complaint turn into a lawsuit, the court will first attempt to determine whether the allegations are true by examining your paperwork. If you lack documentation, you’ll have to show why.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Should you use an apology to head off employee lawsuit?
- Use rational criteria to make hiring decisions
- Carefully document when you acted to bring an end to supervisor sexual harassment
- Track declining productivity to justify staffing, pay and promotion decisions