Tag: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Court Awards Robert Smith $2.4M for Enduring Five Years of Racial, Sexual Harassment from Co-Workers

Rosebud Farms (photo via eurweb.com)
Rosebud Farms (photo via eurweb.com)

A Chicago federal court has awarded Robert Smith more than $2.4 million in damages for enduring five years of humiliating sexual and racial harassment at a South Side grocery store.

The Cook County Record stated that Rosebud Farm Stand was ordered to pay Smith more than $800,000 in compensatory damages and $1.6 million in punitive damages for racial and sexual harassment. Smith also named two supervisors, general manager Carlos Castaneda and assistant manager Rocky Mendoza, in the lawsuit. They were both ordered to pay damages.

Smith, who is African-American, worked as a butcher at the grocery store, claims he was subjected to abuse from his Latino co-workers. Smith said that his co-workers harassed him by grabbing his genitals, fondling his buttocks and simulating homoerotic acts.

However, the harassment was not only sexual. Smith’s attorney Joseph Longo, of Longo & Associates, said his co-workers also called him a “monkey” and told him to “go back to Africa.”

Smith filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2008, but the harassment turned violent. The Cook County Record said Smith alleged his co-workers made threatening gestures towards him and also vandalized his car. The harassment got so bad that Smith eventually quit.

Smith decided to file a lawsuit requesting unspecified damages in 2011.

Longo said other Black employees at the grocery store were also subject to harassment, but declined to come forward. He said victims of racial and sexual harassment have to report the incidents, so they can be addressed in a court of law.

“Unless people file a lawsuit or take action, harassers will continue to create a hostile working environment and harass,” Longo said in an emailed statement following the verdict. “We need more people like Mr. Smith to take a stand and fight for what is right. The jury agreed that what Rosebud did to Mr. Smith was wrong.”

Longo told The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin that Smith’s employer failed to provide a safe work environment. Eight jurors agreed with Longo’s argument.

“I think the jury wanted to send a message,” Longo said. “When you go to work, you don’t surrender your body.”

article by Manny Otiko via atlanticblackstar.com

Former Employee Diane Harris Wins Big Discrimination Lawsuit Against Detroit Greektown Casino

 

Diane Harris

Diane Harris (pictured), a former beverage supervisor at the Detroit Greektown casino, just hit the jackpot in a HUGE way, but she didn’t gamble and win. Rather, she filed a discrimination suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against her employer and was awarded $600,000 on Monday, according to My Fox Detroit.  Harris was employed by the casino for ten years and when the manager’s spot came up she decided to interview for it. For six months, the coveted position remained vacant and during this time Harris assumed the duties of the job. She was confident that the spot would be hers as she toiled away at it for half a year without the title or compensation.

After the six month period, much to Harris’ surprise, the casino hired a Caucasian woman as manager, who was younger than her and less experienced at the job.  According to Harris’ lawyer Ray Guzall, “They promoted this younger, female Caucasian employee above my client, and then they made my client train her.”  According to Harris, the young woman could not fit the bill and the casino fire her. The casino reportedly hired another Caucasian female and, again, asked Harris to train her as well. The second hire was also let go. Harris contends that both women, who were younger than her, also had considerably less experience and could not perform the job that she was adept at doing.  

After Harris filed her discrimination complaint with the EEOC in January, she was terminated from her job one month later. “I got terminated and that’s not fair either, that’s illegal, and that’s why I went to court,” Harris told My Fox Detroit.

To see video of this story, click here.

article via newsone.com