Company Harassed and Retaliated Against African American and Hispanic Employees, Federal Agency Charges
PHOENIX -- Schuff Steel Company, a steel fabrication and erection company, violated federal law by harassing African American and Hispanic employees at its location in Eloy, Arizona and retaliating against them when they complained, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed on September 28, 2022.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Schuff Steel’s Eloy plant manager regularly used racial slurs against Black and Hispanic employees, including using the N-word, as well as anti-Hispanic slurs. Additionally, the EEOC alleges the plant manager told his staff that he preferred white employees and yelled “white power!” at work. The plant manager also ridiculed Hispanic employees who did not speak English well.
The EEOC further charged that when Schuff Steel employees complained to human resources or to the plant manager about the harassment, the plant manager retaliated against those employees by firing them or moving them to the graveyard shift. The anti-Hispanic and anti-African American harassment ultimately forced some employees at Schuff Steel to resign, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harassment based on race and/or national origin, as well as retaliation for complaining about it. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, (EEOC v. Schuff Steel Company, Case No. 2:22-cv-01653-JJT) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“The harassment charged in this case is egregious and alarming,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “No employee should be subjected to such a degrading work environment because of their race or national origin.”
Acting District Director Melinda Caraballo of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office added, “Unfortunately, discrimination is still all too common. The EEOC will continue in its efforts to educate the public about employees’ rights in the workplace, including the right to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.”
For more information on race and color discrimination, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/racecolor-discrimination. For more information on national origin discrimination, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/national-origin-discrimination
The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.