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Cullman Company To Pay $100,000 To Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Racially Hostile Work Environment Offends Black and White Employees at McGriff’s Truck Facility

BIRMINGHAM,  Ala. – McGriff Industries, Inc. and its subsidiary McGriff Transportation,  Inc., which operated a truck transportation facility in Cullman, Ala., will pay  $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a racial harassment and retaliation  lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the  agency announced today.

According to the EEOC, certain employees and managers in the Cullman facility routinely  used racially derogatory comments, slurs, and insults directed at or about African-Americans. The racial  misconduct escalated to threats and intimidation, including a derogatory threat  to cut one of the black employees. White  and black employees were offended by the racial misconduct, but were rebuffed  and retaliated against -- one employee was terminated and another had  his work assignments changed -- when they complained.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of  1964 protects employees from employment discrimination because of their race,  sex, religion or national origin and from retaliation for complaining about  it. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District  Court for the Northern District of Alabama Northeastern Division (Civil Action 5:09-CV-01952-IPJ) after first attempting to reach a  pre-litigation settlement.

The  settlement, by consent decree entered by the court on June 22, 2010, provides  for a total payment of $100,000 to Todd A. Roseborough, Sr., Paul Hogan and Aaron  Greenwood. The decree also includes  injunctive terms applicable to each of McGriff’s offices, facilities and retail  establishments in the state of Alabama. Among other requirements, McGriff must develop  and implement effective anti-discrimination policies and procedures, and train  its employees, supervisors and managers on the prohibitions against racial  misconduct in the workplace. The company  will develop a system for reporting, investigating and addressing complaints of  workplace racial misconduct; hold all employees accountable for engaging in it;  and hold supervisors and managers accountable for tolerating or failing to  address such misconduct.

“This case is important because no employee  should be subject to racism in the workplace and every employee can be offended  by a racially hostile work environment,” said EEOC Birmingham District Director  Delner Franklin-Thomas. “We are pleased  that McGriff's senior management is now taking an active role in promoting compliance  with federal civil rights law.”

EEOC  Birmingham District Office Regional Attorney C. Emanuel Smith added, “The  Commission will continue to litigate cases involving allegations of a racially  hostile work environment. We encourage employers  to be proactive and responsive to employee complaints about workplace  derogatory conduct or comments.”

The EEOC’s Birmingham District Office is  responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative  enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Alabama,  Mississippi and Northern Florida, with Area  Offices in Jackson, Miss.,  and Mobile, Ala.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting  employment discrimination. Further  information about the EEOC is available on its web site at