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.
- The easiest way to win discrimination cases: Prove you treat everyone equally
- Rework your severance plan: More prospective employees seeking this safety net
- Internal report of wrongdoing not enough to trigger whistle-blower protection
- Act fast to stop any workplace incident that smacks of racism or racial harassment
- Stray comments unfortunate, but rarely prove discrimination