Federal Lawsuit Says Waste Management Company Subjected Employees to Racist Slurs and Retaliation
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Waste Pro of Florida, a waste collection, recycling, processing and disposal company based in Longwood, Florida, violated federal law when it subjected Black employees to racist slurs and then retaliated against them for complaining about the behavior, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today.
According to the filing, Waste Pro employees at its Jacksonville location regularly used the N-word in front of Black employees, including a white employee telling a Black Haitian American, “Go back to Haiti N*****,” and “Y’all don’t belong here,” and “go back on the banana boat,” and other racial slurs. After an employee complained, a stuffed monkey waiving an American flag was left in his work area and Waste Pro retaliated against him for reporting the discrimination.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit against Waste Pro (Civil Action No. 3:23-cv-01132) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Title VII makes workplace racial harassment unlawful and provides no exemption for the waste management industry,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg. “By prosecuting claims like these, the EEOC reinforces its commitment to correcting long-held prejudices against Haitian Americans in the workplace.”
“No person should ever have to endure harassment, discrimination or abuse on the job because of the color of their skin or their national origin,” said Evangeline Hawthorne, EEOC’s Miami district director. “The EEOC will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to identify employers who discriminate on the basis of race and national origin and will work to protect equal access to employment for all people.”
For more information on race, color and national origin discrimination, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/racecolor-discrimination and https://www.eeoc.gov/national-origin-discrimination. For more information on retaliation, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/retaliation.
The EEOC's Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa, and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.