Jacksonville Employer Permitted Racist Slurs and Nooses, and Fired Employee Who Complained, Federal Agency Charges
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that it has sued C and C Power Line, Inc. for racial discrimination, harassment and retaliatory termination. Jacksonville-based C and C is a full-service, nationwide electrical contractor servicing investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, government agencies and privately-owned companies.
The EEOC’s complaint alleges that C and C’s workplace was permeated with racial slurs and harassment. Specifically, it alleges that C and C supervisors and employees called a substation apprentice “Black ass” and “boy” and used the “N-word.” The apprentice employee allegedly was threatened with nooses, told he couldn’t use a pen until after the white employees, and heard employees proclaim, “White power.” Furthermore, it alleges that when he complained about the treatment, he was terminated in retaliation.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-_______) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“The EEOC will aggressively investigate and, if necessary, prosecute employers that allow unchecked racism in the workplace,” said EEOC Miami Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg. “No African American employee should have to suffer these types of threats and humiliation in the workplace based on his race especially over 55 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.There is still much work to be done.”
EEOC Miami District Director Paul Valenti added, “The outrageous conduct alleged in this case has no place in the workplace. We hope that our lawsuit will send a message, not only to the defendant, but to the entire industry, that the EEOC will not tolerate this kind of racial hostility – or retaliation for complaining about it.”
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.