EEOC Sues Riddle Painting and Coatings For Racial and Sexual Harassment | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Repeated verbal and physical racist and sexual harassment tolerated by employer, federal agency fees
PHOENIX – Riddle Painting and Coatings, an industrial and commercial painting company in Arizona, violated federal law by subjecting employees to a hostile work environment based on race and gender. This was indicted by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a lawsuit filed on Friday.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Riddle Painting employees used the N word frequently, and one employee in particular repeatedly used the N word to a black employee. The EEOC also accused male Riddle Painting employees of using sexually derogatory language and repeatedly inappropriately touching the legs, buttocks and genitals of other male employees. At least one employee complained about the harassment, according to the EEOC, and Riddle Painting knew or should have known about the racist and same-sex sexual harassment but took no action to stop or correct the abuse. The EEOC also alleged that the racist and same-sex sexual harassment made working conditions so difficult that an employee was forced to resign.
Sexual and racial harassment are forms of discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Arizona District (EEOC v Michael L. Riddle Painting, Inc., d / b / a Riddle Painting & Coatings (Case No. 2: 18-cv-02990-DLR) according to the first attempt to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its mediation process.The EEOC’s lawsuit seeks financial compensation for the victims of harassment as well as injunctive relief to prevent and correct discrimination.
“The EEOC remains vigilant in its struggle to identify, eliminate, and ultimately eliminate racist and sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “Racist explosives should never be used in a workplace – they are degrading, offensive and unacceptable. Employers have a legal obligation to stop this type of abuse of language and behavior.”
Elizabeth Cadle, the director of EEOC in Phoenix, added: “Employers may find it acceptable to allow sexual harassment in the workplace while it is marked as horseplay. It is not, and employers who allow their employees to being bullied in this way will be held accountable for doing so. “
The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office is responsible for handling discrimination allegations, administrative enforcement, and litigation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The Phoenix District Office conducted the investigation that led to the lawsuit.