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Race Discrimination Cases in California: Real EEOC Examples

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Do you think you could be a victim of race discrimination? Although workplace discrimination due to your race or ethnicity is illegal, it still happens all too frequently. In fact, the EEOC reports that more than 30,000 race discrimination charges were filed in 2014 alone.

Despite the high number of charges filed, it is important to know that your employee rights are protected under both California and Federal law. Because race discrimination and harassment can take on a variety of forms, you may be left feeling confused and wondering whether you should or should not contact an employment attorney for help.

The following real race and ethnicity discrimination cases from the EEOC newsroom will offer some answers to help you understand your rights when faced with potentially unlawful employer behaviors.

race-discrimination-cases-in-california-real-eeoc-examples.jpg

Do you think you could be a victim of race discrimination? Although workplace discrimination due to your race or ethnicity is illegal, it still happens all too frequently. In fact, the EEOC reports that more than 30,000 race discrimination charges were filed in 2014 alone.

Despite the high number of charges filed, it is important to know that your employee rights are protected under both California and Federal law. Because race discrimination and harassment can take on a variety of forms, you may be left feeling confused and wondering whether you should or should not contact an employment attorney for help.

The following real race and ethnicity discrimination cases from the EEOC newsroom will offer some answers to help you understand your rights when faced with potentially unlawful employer behaviors.

EEOC Race Discrimination Cases

Scully Distribution to Pay $630,000 to Settle EEOC Class Action Race Discrimination Suit

LOS ANGELES, CA - SDS Fontana Holdings, Inc., which formerly did business as Scully Distribution Services, paid $630,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit which alleged racial discrimination and harassment against a class of African-American, Latino, and East Indian workers.

For years, both Scully management officials and employees would refer to black drivers as "n--rs," East Indian drivers as "Taliban" and "camel jockey," and a Latino manager as "s-c." The EEOC also charged that non-white drivers were given less favorable assignments than white drivers.

"A hostile work environment involving offensive slurs and epithets is not acceptable in any work force, including one mostly comprised of truck drivers. The EEOC is pleased that the parties were able to bring this case to an early resolution that will benefit the former Scully employees who were subjected to this type of hostility based on their race, religion or national origin," Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office said.

David Lopez, general counsel for the EEOC stated, "This case is the Commission's latest effort to combat unlawful racial and religious harassment [...] the EEOC will continue to prosecute these egregious cases nationwide in accordance with our mission to eradicate discrimination in the workplace."

Read the full release

Chapman University to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

SAN DIEGO, CA - An Orange, California private university paid $75,000 to settle an EEOC race discrimination lawsuit. The EEOC charged that the George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics (ASBE) at Chapman University discriminated against an assistant professor of marketing because of her race.

Despite strong recommendations in her favor by her professional peers, Stephanie Dellande was denied tenure and a promotion in 2006 because she is African-American. Dellande was also discharged from the university in June 2008 after a denial of her tenure appeal. The lawsuit alleged that Dellande was the first black professor to have been allowed to apply for tenure at ASBE, and was subjected to higher standards than her non-black peers for obtaining promotion and tenure.

Upon learning of the settlement, Dellande said, "Chapman University's actions caught me completely off guard - like a punch in the gut - especially since I was told that I was on track for tenure. In the big scheme of things, it meant that I would not have a seat at the table where policies were made, simply because of my race."

Read the full release

EEOC Sues Farmers Insurance for Race Bias in the Firing of Asian-American Claims Representatives

FRESNO, CA - An EEOC lawsuit claimed that Farmers Insurance Exchange violated federal law when it fired two Southeast Asian-American employees due to their race, and then unlawfully fired a third non-Asian employee in retaliation for his participation in the EEOC's investigation.

At the time of their termination in March 2009, two of the claimants of Hmong descent were the only Asian-American employees working at the insurance company's Fresno office. The EEOC suit claimed that a supervisor instructed the Fresno office staff to code insurance payments in a manner so as to avoid the automated prompting of customer surveys. An audit from 2009 showed that several of the Fresno office claims representatives had instances of improper coding. However, only the Asian-American claims representatives were targeted for termination. A Caucasian claims coder had a similar number of cases that were coded, but the worker wasn't terminated until he provided testimony during the EEOC investigation into the discrimination charges.

"Generally, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders seldom come forward to report discrimination," stated Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes Central California in its jurisdiction. "The EEOC is here to help victims of illegal discrimination and to ensure that employers treat workers equally. Our hope is that more will find the courage to come forward to break the cycle of discrimination at work."

Read the full release

Federal Judge Finds Global Horizons Liable for Discriminating, Harassing, and Retaliating Against Hundreds of Thai Farm Workers in EEOC Suit

LOS ANGELES, CA - The EEOC announced that Global Horizons, Inc., a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor was liable for a pattern or practice of harassing, discriminating, and retaliating against hundreds of Thai workers in the U.S., in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

Examples of physical abuse, exploitation, and barbaric security measures at Maui Pineapple Company's pineapple plantations and old worker dormitories where the Thai workers were forced to live, plus other abuses were cited by U.S. District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi.

The order stated that, "Global Horizons subjected the Claimants to physical and verbal harassment based on Claimants' race and/or national origin in order to secure the Claimants' compliance and obedience and based upon stereotypical beliefs about Thai workers." Judge Kobayashi's order also stated that discriminatory "disparate treatment of Thai workers was Global Horizons' standard operating procedure."

It was also found that the Thai workerswere paid less, made to work less desirable and more demeaning jobs, were denied breaks, plus worked longer hours than non-Thai farm workers.

"The judge's granting of judgment for liability vindicates the rights of the multitude of Thai farm workers who survived inhumane abuses and discrimination at the hands of their employers who controlled not only their working conditions but where they lived, what they could eat, and the basic right to move around freely," stated Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes Southern California and Hawaii in its jurisdiction.

Read the full release

Big Lots to Pay $400,000 for Race Harassment

LOS ANGELES, CA - The EEOC announced a settlement of a race discrimination and harassment lawsuit against Big Lots, Inc. that alleged black employees were subjected to racial jokes and slurs by a Hispanic supervisor and co-workers. The settlement included monetary relief totaling $400,000 to be paid to five employees and a group of unidentified class members.

According to the EEOC suit, Big Lots violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it subjected a black maintenance mechanic and other black employees to race harassment and discrimination at its Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., distribution center. The immediate supervisor and coworkers, all Hispanic, made racially derogatory jokes, comments, slurs and epithets, including the use of the words "n--r" and "monkey." Upon learning of the harassment issue, Big Lots did nothing to correct it.

"Working in a job that they valued highly, the employees in this case rightfully expected to earn a living free of discrimination," stated Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. "They should not have had to endure harassment or discrimination based on their race."

Read the full release

No one should have to worry about race discrimination or harassment at work, and behaviors such as the ones claimed in these race discrimination cases are illegal. The California employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz have worked extensively representing interests of racial and ethnic minorities in both nonprofit and professional settings. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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