A Virginia-based stone contracting company has been ordered to pay $40,000 in relation to a claim that it was involved in discrimination against a worker based on his national origin, religion and color.
The high-profile company has worked on many important buildings in the Washington, D.C., area such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the American Red Cross, the International Monetary Fund, Newseum and the embassies of the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria.
The EEOC charged that a man who was an estimator and assistant project manager for this company was subjected to derogatory statements from several people in the company over a two-year period. The man's supervisors, project manager and even the company owner all reportedly made inappropriate comments about the man's Pakistani origin, Islam religion and his skin color. According the EEOC complaint, the workers had complained about the conduct but the harassment did not cease.
The EEOC tried to reach a settlement out of court through conciliation, but when this was not successful the case went to litigation.
Under a three-year consent decree, the company will pay $40,000 to the victim as well as take other steps to banish discrimination and harassment from its workplace. It must distribute information about the company's policies on these matters to all of its workers as well as post the policies in its facilities and on worksites.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from harassment based on national origin, religion and/or skin color. Employees who feel their employer has violated this law do have a right to pursue legal recourse.
Source: EEOC, "Rugo Stone to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin, Religion and Color Bias Lawsuit," March 7, 2012