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Heritage Crystal Clean to Pay $20,000 to Resolve EEOC Discrimination Finding

Company Subjected Employee to a Hostile Work Environment Based on His Race, Color, National Origin and Religion, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS - Heritage Crystal Clean, an Elgin, Ill.-based cleaning and waste services company, will pay $20,000, establish a revised written anti-harassment policy, and provide workplace civility training to conciliate an employment discrimination charge filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC's investigation found reasonable cause to believe that Heritage Crystal Clean created a hostile work environment for an employee at the company's Indianapolis location. The harassment consisted of other employees calling the man derogatory names based on his race, color, national origin and religion. The employee complained through text message to his supervisor about the harassing comments, but no action was taken to stop the harassing behavior, the EEOC said. It was also found that Heritage Crystal Clean had disposed of text messages between the employee and management that were relevant to the scope of the EEOC investigation.

Such alleged conduct violates the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees against workplace harassment, specifically, in this case, harassment based on race, color, national origin and religion. Employers are also required to retain all documents related to the discrimination charge once it has been filed and are required to produce relevant documents if the EEOC needs them for its investigation.

The conciliation agreement settling the discrimination charge provides $20,000 in monetary relief to the employee. The agreement requires Heritage Crystal Clean to establish for each facility a revised written anti-harassment policy prohibiting harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, and religion in the future. The written policy will also prohibit retaliation for opposition any practice declared unlawful under any of the laws enforced by the EEOC. Heritage Crystal Clean will also provide all employees with EEOC compliance and civility training that includes bystander training.

"The EEOC is committed to preventing harassment in the workplace," said EEOC Indianapolis District Director Michelle Eisele. "Companies should have anti-harassment policies in place that make it clear retaliation is prohibited."

Heritage Crystal Clean is a provider of parts cleaning services, hazardous, and non-hazardous waste services as well as other products and services pertaining to the environmental services market.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.