Caterpillar Equipment Dealer Relegated Military Veteran Technician to Janitorial Duties Because of His Race, Federal Agency Charges in Lawsuit
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL - Ring Power Corporation (Ring Power), North and Central Florida's Caterpillar-brand heavy equipment dealer, violated federal law when it relegated a black technician to janitorial duties because of his race, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Ring Power hired a naval military veteran as an electrical power generator technician at the company's St. Augustine, Florida headquarters. As the only black technician in the department, he was subjected to racially-motivated treatment throughout his employment including being denied training, work, and overtime opportunities. Despite his training and skills as an electrical technician, his supervisor used racial expletives to make the point that black employees were only good for cleaning and sweeping. His complaints to Ring Power went unresolved and lead to his resignation.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division (EEOC v. Ring Power Corporation, Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-01098), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process. The EEOC asserts that Ring Power's actions were intentional and demonstrated a reckless indifference to the black technician's federally protected rights.
"It is unfortunate, but it is a reality that racial discrimination continues to infect the workplace in 2019. EEOC will vigorously prosecute employers who disregard federal law and deny minorities employment opportunities because of their race," said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Weisberg. "It is repulsive that any employer would make work assignments on the basis of race."
Michael Farrell, district director for the Miami District Office, said, "The EEOC continues to see too many complaints of race discrimination. An employee's race should never be a factor in an employer's assignment of work duties or in decisions regarding training, advancement opportunities, salary, or any other workplace benefits."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. 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.