Transportation Company and Staffing Agency Fostered Racially Hostile Work Environment And Fired Victim Who Complained, Federal Agency Charges
LOS ANGELES - Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc., a transportation and supply chain solutions company, and staffing agency Kimco Staffing Services, Inc. violated federal law by subjecting black employees to racial harassment and retaliation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, black employees assigned by Kimco to Ryder's Moreno Valley, Calif., facility, along with black employees directly hired by Ryder, were subjected to ongoing and unwelcome harassment based on their race. The EEOC contends that on a daily or weekly basis, multiple Ryder and Kimco employees referred to their black co-workers by using racial slurs and epithets. When a black employee complained to management about racial harassment, neither Ryder nor Kimco took immediate and corrective action. The employee who complained was terminated within days of reporting, the EEOC said.
Racial harassment and retaliation for complaining about it are prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. Kimco Staffing Services, Inc., Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc., Case No. 5:19-cv-01838) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC's suit seeks monetary damages for a class of employees, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent and correct any future discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
"The EEOC continues to receive charges involving racism in the workplace," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. "Employers are responsible for creating policies and practices that ensure a workplace free of discrimination and harassment."
Rosa Viramontes, the EEOC's Los Angeles district director, added, "Under federal discrimination laws, it is the responsibility of both the staffing agency and the employers to which they assign staff to stop and address reported harassment. Retaliation against workers who report harassment is illegal, and it's the EEOC's job to fight this misconduct."
According to its website, www.ryder.com, Ryder manages fleet, transportation and supply chain functions for over 50,000 customers. The company is headquartered in Miami. According to Kimco's website, www.kimco.com, the Orange County, Calif.-based staffing company has helped more than 212,000 people find employment since 1986.
Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is also one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.
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