Press Release 03-31-2020

Bay Country Professional Concrete Will Pay $74,000 to Settle EEOC Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuits

Concrete Contractor Fired Workers Who Opposed Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

BALTIMORE - Baltimore County-based Bay Country Professional Concrete will pay $74,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle two federal harassment and retaliation lawsuits by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

In the first lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Bay Country's owner repeatedly used racial slurs and fired a secretary in retaliation for her opposition to the racial harassment (EEOC v. Bay Country Profes­sional Concrete LLC, Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-02846-ELH).

In the second lawsuit, the EEOC said that Bay Country subjected a concrete finisher, who is male and African American, to racial and sexual harassment by a foreman and co-workers (EEOC v. Bay Country Professional Concrete LLC, Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-02848-ELH). The harassment included racial slurs, explicit sexual comments and gestures and threats. The concrete finisher called the police to file charges after one co-worker groped him and another intentionally poked him with a shovel handle, the EEOC said. According to the suit, the concrete finisher complained about the harassment and Bay Country fired him in retaliation the same day.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harass­ment based on race or sex. Title VII also prohibits employers from firing an employee because he or she opposed or complained about harassment. The EEOC filed the lawsuits in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settle­ment through its conciliation process.

In addition to $44,000 in monetary relief to the secretary and $30,000 in monetary relief to the concrete finisher, the three-year consent decrees resolving the lawsuits enjoin Bay Country from engaging in discrimination or harassment based on race and retaliation in the future. Bay Country must implement and disseminate to all employees a detailed policy against harassment and retaliation - both in English and Spanish. The company will also provide training on Title VII, post a notice about the settlements, and report to the EEOC its handling of any internal complaints of harassment or retaliation.

"When an employee bravely comes forward to report workplace harassment, employers should take swift action to end the unlawful conduct," said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie R. Williamson. "Retaliation only compounds the problem."

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "We are gratified that Bay Country worked with us to resolve these lawsuits amicably. In addition to the monetary relief, these settlements contain strong measures to prevent harassment or retaliation in the future."

The EEOC's Baltimore Field Office is one of four offices in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

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.