EEOC files suit against company

Published 9:43pm Thursday, April 25, 2013

While doing construction work in Selma, a company based in Albertville allegedly violated federal anti-discrimination laws when the project superintendent and supervisor racially harassed three black employees.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit in March against Olympia Construction — a company that develops houses for families and senior citizens in eight states throughout the Southeastern states.

According to the complaint the three victims were on the work site when a supervisor, “angrily told [the victims] ‘you colored boys go home,’” the complaint said. “He called them lazy, used the N word repeatedly during his tirade and told them to check with him the following Monday about the status of their employment.”

After the victims complained to the company owners and officials with Olympia Construction about the harassment, and informed that they had contacted the EEOC, Olympia Construction terminated their employment.

The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Selma Division after the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC is asking for monetary damages, including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief for the victims.

The action is being brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

“Employers have the responsibility to ensure that their work environments, whether in an office or a construction site are devoid of this type of racial misconduct,” EEOC District Director Delner Franklin-Thomas said.

EEOC Regional Attorney C. Emanuel Smith added, “Employers should guard against the use of racial epithets in the workplace and impose appropriate discipline when such behavior is discovered.”

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