The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a $600,000 settlement of a national origin harassment lawsuit against Western Casework Corporation, a Las Vegas-area cabinetmaker that supplies cabinetry to businesses and commercial construction projects.
The lawsuit, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleged that the company’s supervisors and other workers subjected six Hispanic males, who were field workers at the company, along with a class of similarly situated workers, to severe, pervasive physical and verbal abuse and humiliation. The unlawful conduct included physical harm and unwanted physical contact; and derogatory, hurtful commentary and jokes.
The suit also alleged that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of such abuses. Eight workers, including the six originally named, later intervened as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. In part, the settlement terms require Western Casework to pay $400,000 to some of the workers and to set aside an additional $200,000 for potential class members who may come forward in the coming months.
The company has also agreed to hire a consultant to develop and implement new policies and procedures for handling complaints of discrimination and harassment. EEOC’s lawsuit was filed in June 2004 in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, Case No. CV-S-04-0907-LDG-PAL.
Acting Regional attorney Luis Lucero of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office said of the settlement, “This should serve as a warning to companies out there that the abuse of Latino workers will not be tolerated. We are pleased, however, that Western Casework acted cooperatively in achieving a resolution of this matter and we commend them for it.”
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