Latino Employees Subjected to Slurs, Federal Agency Charges
DALLAS - Alden Short, Inc., a property management company headquartered in Dallas, and its subsidiary Hinson Jennings, LLC, violated federal law when they subjected three Hispanic employees to a hostile work environment because of their national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, two high-level officials at Alden Short and Hinson Jennings harassed Claudia Guardiola, Linda Spears and Leticia Stewart because of their Latino origin, using slurs and making derogatory remarks about people of Mexican heritage. Neither Alden Short nor Hinson Jennings had a human resources department or designated employee to whom complaints of discrimination could be made. Neither company had a procedure in place for making a complaint. The EEOC alleges that the managers frequently described the Mexican people as lazy, uneducated and undeserving.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin, race, color, religion, and sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Alden Short, Inc. & Hinson Jennings, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:18-CV-02125-L), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the victims, as well as injunctive relief.
"Harassment in any form takes a toll on all employees in a workplace," said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Meaghan Kuelbs. "When management not only permits that harassment to occur but spearheads the offensive and discriminatory behavior, employees have nowhere to turn."
EEOC Regional Attorney Robert A. Canino added, "It is a disturbing disconnect to see that, while a company generates profits from the leasing of properties to persons of Mexican national origin, its management people so boldly engage in attributing negative stereotypes and voicing derogatory slurs about this significant segment of our population. Such employers may well find that there are also costs that affect their bottom line when it comes to misconduct that violates federal laws. The EEOC will continue its nationwide mission to protect employees from discriminatory hostile environments."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.