How many different ways can one employer discriminate? How about eight?
The EEOC recently settled a national origin and disability discrimination lawsuit against a staffing agency, brought on behalf of a group of Latino employees working at an Alabama poultry plant.
The eight different acts of discrimination alleged by the workers?
- They were harassed, which included ethnic slurs, threats, verbal abuse and other abusive working conditions.
- They were paid less than they were promised.
- They were placed in more hazardous conditions.
- They were denied bathroom and lunch breaks.
- They received fewer hours of work than their non-Latino co-workers.
- They had exorbitant relocation, housing and transportation fees deducted from their pay.
- They were denied medical treatment and other accommodations (such as breaks or time off from work to recuperate) after suffering repetitive motion injuries to their hands, forearms and shoulders.
- And, when they complained about all of the above, they were ignored.
According to Marsha L. Rucker, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, “We cannot allow any employer to prey on vulnerable workers by recruiting them and then subjecting them to such gross mistreatment.” Adds Bradley Anderson, the EEOC’s Birmingham district director, “The EEOC has made combating discrimination against vulnerable workers a strategic priority so that employers cannot profit from victimizing them.”
All of the above cost this employer $475,000 to settle the EEOC’s claims.
It also earned this employer its nomination as the Worst Employer of 2019.