U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Work Zone Services Company Harassed Two Employees Because of their National Origin and Retaliated Against Them When They Complained, Federal Agency Charges
 

PHOENIX – Trafficade Service, Inc. violated federal law when it subjected two Hispanic employees to verbal and physical harassment because of their national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC further charged that Trafficade retaliated against the same two employees for opposing the harassment.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Trafficade managers and employees repeatedly used racial slurs when referring to the employees and created an unsafe workplace for them. The EEOC also contends that Trafficade retaliated against the two employees for complaining about the harassment and filing charges of discrimination with the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin and retaliation. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (EEOC v. Trafficade Services, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:20-cv-01545) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensa­tory damages, and punitive damages for the charging parties, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.

“Physical and verbal harassment based on national origin is illegal,” said regional attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “Employers cannot allow their employees to harass workers because of their place of origin or their ancestors’ place of origin.”

Elizabeth Cadle, district director of EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “Employers must make sure that their employees feel safe coming forward to report harassment. And they must take complaints of harassment seriously, investigate them thoroughly, and make sure that appropriate corrective action is taken.”

EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque).

EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

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