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Chicagoland truckers offer lesson on price of harassment

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The EEOC has charged YRC Inc.—the trucking firm created by the merger of Yellow Transportation and Roadway Express—with racial intimidation and harassment at its Chicago Ridge location.

According to the complaint, black employees at Chicago Ridge had to endure nooses, racist graffiti and racial slurs while working at the plant.

The suit is the third filed against Yellow or Roadway Express in the past several years. Two previous suits alleged similar conduct at Chicago Heights and Elk Grove Village locations. Those suits represent 150 employees.

Note: This is just the type of thing the EEOC looks for in its systemic discrimination probes. The lesson for employers: Don’t waste any time when racial harassment surfaces. Deal with it fairly, but deal with it quickly.

Advice: If there’s a noose hanging in your workplace, you’ve got a big problem. Find out who placed it there and immediately punish him or her—harshly. Otherwise, look forward to years of litigation.

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