Company Officials Used Racially and Ethnically Offensive Terms, Treated Minorities Less Favorably and Discharged Them for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges
LOS ANGELES — Scully Distribution Services and Ryder System, Inc., the company which purchased Scully, engaged in pervasive and wide-ranging discrimination, harassment and retaliation against a class of the companies’ non-white employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a lawsuit filed today. Scully Distribution Services, which provides trucking services, is headquartered in Fontana, Calif., and the discrimination took place throughout its operations in Northern and Southern California.
According to the EEOC, since at least 2003, Scully management officials frequently referred to black drivers as “n----rs,” East Indian drivers as “Taliban” and “camel jockey,” and a Latino manager as “spic.” In addition, EEOC alleges that non-white drivers were often treated less favorably than white drivers with respect to certain terms and conditions of their employment, including the types of driving runs they were assigned. Workers who reported the disparity and harassment were met with retaliatory terminations. In February 2011, Miami-based Ryder System assumed ownership of the enterprise. EEOC argues that Ryder is also liable for the discrimination at issue in the case as a successor corporation.
The EEOC filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Eastern Division (EEOC v. Scully Distribution Services, Inc. and Ryder System, Inc., Case No. CV11-8090 CAS (SPx)), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC’s suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the class, back pay for victims of retaliatory discharge, and injunctive relief intended to eliminate and prevent the discrimination that permeated the working environment.
“National origin discrimination is a persistent problem in our district, and race discrimination is no less serious,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “The EEOC will vigorously enforce the laws prohibiting this type of illegal treatment.”
“Employers must implement procedures and train staff to protect workers from discrimination, harassment and retaliation,” said Olophius Perry, district director for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “By sending a strong anti-discrimination message from the start, employers can expect a more productive and harmonious working environment and avoid potential liability.”
According to its website, Scully Distribution Services provided contract carriage services to customers in eleven western states with over 50 operations in California, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico. Ryder System, Inc. is a Fortune 500 provider of transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions throughout North America, Mexico, Europe and Asia.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.