DHL Global Forwarding Pays $201,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit

by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Hispanic Workers Were Singled Out for Harassment, Agency Charged

DALLAS - Air Express International, USA, Inc. and Danzas  Corporation, doing business as DHL Global Forwarding, will pay $201,000  to nine employees and provide other significant relief to settle a national  origin hostile environment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The  settlement, announced today, resolves the EEOC's and Plaintiff-Intervenor  Carlos Villanueva's claims against DHL Global.   The EEOC charged DHL Global with subjecting a class of Hispanic employees to national origin  discrimination.  The EEOC's suit also  resolved a retaliation claim by one non-Hispanic employee who was allegedly  fired for a brief time after he reported the treatment of Hispanic employees.

According to the EEOC's suit,  Case No. 3:11-cv-02581 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of  Texas, Dallas Division, Hispanic employees at DHL's Dallas warehouse were  constantly subjected to taunts and derogatory names such as "wetback,"  "beaner," "stupid Mexican" and "Puerto Rican b---h".   According to the EEOC, Hispanic workers, who  included persons of Mexican, Salvadoran and Puerto Rican heritage, were often  ridiculed by DHL personnel with demeaning slurs which included referring to the  Salvadoran worker as a "salvatrucha," a term referring to a gangster.  Other workers were identified with derogatory  stereotypes by being told they should be outside the facility "mowing the  grass" or that their "homies" were on a television show about prison.  The EEOC further asserts that company  supervisors made harsh admonitions to bilingual employees about use of their  Spanish language on the job.  The agency  asserts that these admonitions were motivated by prejudice, unnecessary and  unrelated to the effective performance of the job duties.

The EEOC complained that DHL  Global officials ignored the complaints of employees even after the  discriminatory conduct was reported to management.  The EEOC's suit also alleged that DHL Global  retaliated against Troy Petty, a union steward, by firing him after he reported  the mistreatment of Hispanic employees to DHL officials on numerous occasions.  Petty was ultimately returned to work and  continues to be employed with the other affected employees.

"Intimidation and ridicule  based on a worker's ethnicity isn't just dehumanizing, it's un-American," said  EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Joel Clark.  "Employers must respond immediately to the multiple reports of  harassment and eliminate the problems so as not to permit an atmosphere of  contempt and mockery."

National origin discrimination in  the workplace, including national origin harassment, and retaliation for  complaining about it, violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to  reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

Robert A. Canino, regional attorney  for the EEOC's Dallas District Office, said, "Bullying Hispanic workers for  speaking a language other than English is a distinct form of discrimination,  which, when coupled with ethnic slurs, is clearly motivated by prejudice and  national origin animus.  Sometimes job  discrimination isn't just about hiring, firing or promotion; it's about an  employer promoting disharmony and disrespect through an unhealthy work  environment."

The three-year consent decree  settling the case, signed by Judge Sam A. Lindsay on Nov. 30, provides for a  permanent injunction against DHL Global that prohibits the company from further  discriminating against any employee on the basis of national origin, harassing  any employee on the basis of national origin or retaliating in any way against  any person because of opposition to any practice declared unlawful by Title  VII.  DHL Global will pay $201,000 in  monetary relief and develop strong policies to respond to reports of national  origin discrimination.  In addition, DHL  Global will conduct annual anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training,  which will include instruction on the prevention of  national origin harassment in the workplace.  The training will also advise employees of the  consequences imposed for violating federal anti-discrimination law.  Each new hire will be provided a copy of DHL  Global's non-discrimination policy, and the company will provide  copies of its anti-harassment policies in both English and Spanish to its  employees. 

As part of the settlement,  EEOC will monitor compliance with the consent decree.  DHL will provide EEOC a log of all employee  complaints alleging national origin discrimination or  retaliation.  DHL also agreed to  impose discipline -- up to and including termination, suspension without pay or  demotion upon anyone found to have engaged in national origin discrimination.

Janet V. Elizondo, director  of the EEOC's Dallas District Office, said, "Employers should not characterize  persons of various Hispanic national origins as though they are all likely to  be non-citizens. Subjecting employees to personal and degrading attacks based  on their ethnicity, heritage or culture does not make for good business.  We are very pleased with the resolution in  this case, which is forward-looking and allows these men to continue in their  jobs free of insults and intimidation."

The EEOC enforces federal  laws prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.