CAT Equipment Dealer Assigned Black Technician Menial Duties Because of His Race, Federal Agency Charged
AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Ring Power Corporation, North and Central Florida's CAT-brand heavy equipment dealer, has agreed to pay $65,000 and furnish comprehensive injunctive relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Ring Power hired a Black former naval technician to work at its St. Augustine location. He was the only Black technician in his department. Throughout the employee’s tenure at Ring Power, his supervisor, who was white, made racist remarks about him, including referring to the employee using the “N-word” and stating that he was only good for cleaning. The same supervisor also argued for the Black technician’s termination. Ring Power refused to give the employee technical work assignments and assigned him more menial tasks than the other technicians in his department. Despite multiple complaints to managers and human resources personnel, no corrective action was taken, and the employee resigned.
This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Ring Power Corporation, Case No. 3:19-cv-01098) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“All employees are entitled to a workplace in which their opportunities are determined by their qualifications and performance, and not their race,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg. “It is the unfortunate reality that racial discrimination still plagues many workplaces in Florida. The EEOC will continue to take legal action to root out such conduct.”
The one-year consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit, approved by the federal court, requires Ring Power to pay $65,000 in monetary relief. The company will also provide specialized training on race discrimination to human resources officers and managers to ensure they are aware of their obligations to prevent workplace discrimination and how to address complaints. The decree also requires Ring Power to post a notice about the lawsuit, as well as submit two written reports to the EEOC.
Roberto Chavez, the acting director of the Miami District, said, “Federal law plainly prohibits discrimination against individuals based on their race. The EEOC will vigorously pursue its mission to eradicate race discrimination from the workplace.”
For more information on race and color discrimination, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/racecolor-discrimination.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.