LAS VEGAS – The corporate owner of several restaurants in three states will pay $457,500 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that N-W Ventures, LLC in Las Vegas subjected a class of African American employees to discrimination, including racial harassment and retaliation. N-W Ventures owns several bars, steakhouses and lounges in Las Vegas, Chicago and Dallas.
According to the EEOC’s suit, eight black employees and other similarly situated individuals were forced to endure racist epithets and insults on many occasions. When some employees complained, managers retaliated against them by instructing supervisors to “get something on them, whether true or not,” and then firing them because of their race and as retaliation for the complaints.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (No. CV-07-1197-PMP-GWF in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
Besides paying $457,500 to the discrimination victims, N-M Ventures LLC is prohibited from discriminating based on race, and from retaliating against any employee because he or she opposed discrimination. Further, the company must establish an appropriate and effective mechanism for handling complaints of discrimination, and provide training for its managers and employees with respect to the law against racial discrimination and harassment and retaliation at its Las Vegas facility.
"Racial harassment and retaliation continue to be major problems in the American workplace and the EEOC intends to make clear that such misconduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction over Nevada.
Lucy V. Orta, the EEOC’s local director in Las Vegas, said, "Race-based charges accounted for 36 percent of all charges received at the EEOC in fiscal 2007, and the agency has seen an increase of 17 percent in harassment charges over the last decade. To counter these trends, employers must be more proactive in preventing and eliminating racist behavior in the workplace."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on March 11, 2009.
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