Pace Services Treated Islamic, Black and Hispanic Employees Unfairly, Federal Agency Charged
HOUSTON – A Houston-area construction company will pay $122,500 and provide additional remedial relief to resolve a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Pace Services, L.P. discriminated against Mohammad Kaleemuddin because he is of the Islamic faith and of East Indian descent, and against 13 other employees because they are black or Hispanic.
The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 4:08cv2886, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division) asserted that a Pace supervisor referred to Kaleemuddin as “terrorist,” “Taliban,” “Osama” and “Al-Qaeda.” According to the EEOC, despite Kaleemuddin’s complaints, Pace never took action to stop the harassment, which continued up to the day when the supervisor fired him. The EEOC further claimed that the same supervisor, as well as others in Pace management, regularly referred to African Americans as “n----s” and to Hispanics as “f-----g Mexicans.”
Under the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen William Smith, Pace Services will pay $61,250 in relief to compensate Kaleemuddin. An additional $61,250 will be distributed among the other non-Anglo employees who were also harassed. In addition to the monetary payments, the decree directs that Pace’s owner shall provide a signed letter of apology to Kaleemuddin, that the manager alleged to have made many of the racist remarks be prohibited from ever working again for Pace, and that Pace provide employee training designed to prevent future discrimination and harassment on the job.
EEOC Houston Regional Attorney Jim Sacher said, “Employees have an absolute right to be free from discriminatory harassment in the workplace. The EEOC will vigorously challenge violations of this statutory right.”
Kaleemuddin added, “I would like to thank all the guys I used to work with at Pace for standing up for the truth.”
The EEOC enforces the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additional information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.
Anyone who believes he or she has been subjected to a discriminatory employment practice is encouraged to contact the EEOC’s Houston District Office located in downtown Houston at 1919 Smith Street, in the Mickey Leland Federal Building.