Car Wash Terminated Worker Who Complained about Racial Harassment, Federal Agency Charged
HARRISBURG -- Eagle United Truck Wash, LLC, which operates truck washing facilities at truck stop locations around the United States, will pay $40,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a racial harassment, discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the suit, Eagle United Truck Wash subjected an African American truck washer at its Milton, Pa., facility to racial harassment throughout his employment. The EEOC alleged that the harassment included supervisors and employees using racial epithets in calling or referring to the truck washer, who was the only black employee at the Milton facility for most of his employment. The EEOC charged that the racial insults continued despite the truck washer's repeated complaints to management. Eagle United Truck Wash fired the truck washer on the same day that he again complained about racial harassment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racial harassment and discrimination. Title VII also prohibits employers from firing an employee because he complained about harassment. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Eagle United Truck Wash, LLC, Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-1856) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $40,000 in monetary relief to the truck washer, the three-year consent decree settling the suit enjoins Eagle United Truck Wash from engaging in or condoning race-based harassment and from engaging in unlawful retaliation in the future. The company will provide training on federal anti-discrimination laws, with an emphasis on preventing race-based harassment. Eagle United Truck Wash will report to the EEOC on how it handles any internal complaints of race-based discrimination in the future and will also post a notice regarding the settlement.
"Federal law gives workers in all industries the right to earn a living without being subjected to vile racial slurs and harassment," said EEOC Philadelphia District Office Director Jamie R. Williamson. "They also have the right to complain about unlawful harassment without being fired in reprisal."
EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "Preventing harassment is an EEOC priority. This settlement provides needed monetary relief to compensate the employee for his job loss and emotional harm. Equally important, the broad injunctive and training provisions are designed to prevent harassment from occurring in the future."
Preventing harassment is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.
The EEOC's Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.