EEOC Sues Master Marine for Retaliation

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

Master  Marine Terminated Painter in Retaliation for Filing an EEOC Charge of  Discrimination During Previous Stint with Company, Federal Agency Charges

BIRMINGHAM,  Ala. - Master Marine, Inc., a Gulf Coast shipbuilder, violated federal anti-discrimination  law by terminating Elskin  Nye, a First Class Painter/Blaster at its Bayou La Batre, Ala., facility, in  retaliation for previously filing an EEOC Charge of Discrimination against it,  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed  today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Master  Marine terminated Nye from his employment through a staffing firm in July 2016  because he had filed a previous EEOC Charge in July 2014 against Master Marine.  Shortly after the staffing firm placed Nye with Master Marine, Nye's foreman informed  him that he was being laid off. The foreman, who is no longer employed with  Master Marine, heard management mention during a meeting that Nye had "sued the  company" and "cost the company a lot of money." Once the meeting was over, the  foreman was instructed by his supervisor to "get rid of that m*****f****r, he  cost us a lot of money. Don't let him make it through the day." The foreman  then informed Nye that his employment with Master Marine was over. At least six  other temporary First Class Painters/Blasters who did not engage in protected  activity were not terminated.

Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from retaliating  against those who file charges of discrimination with the EEOC. The EEOC filed  suit (EEOC v. Master Marine, Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-00371-C) in U.S. District  Court for the Southern District of Alabama after the EEOC's Mobile Local Office  completed an investigation and first attempted to reach a pre-litigation  settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks monetary  damages, including backpay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive  relief.

"The  EEOC is committed to stopping unlawful retaliation," said EEOC Birmingham  District Director Bradley Anderson. "We encourage all individuals who believe  they may have been targeted by their current or former employers for reporting  or opposing discrimination to come forward with the assurance that retaliation  is prohibited by the law, and that the EEOC takes such complaints seriously."

Marsha  Rucker, Regional Attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham District, added, "The  federal employment discrimination laws depend on the willingness of employees  and applicants to challenge discrimination without fear of punishment. Individuals  can rely on prohibitions against reprisal when they complain to an employer  about an alleged equal opportunity violation, provide information as a witness  in an investigation, or file a charge with the EEOC. We will continue to use  our litigation resources forcefully to take action against retaliatory  employers."

According to company information, Master Marine is an Alabama shipbuilding and repair company that manages various marine-related projects for the oil and gas sector, inland transportation, passenger vessels, and commercial fishing  industries.

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.

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