Friday, April 03, 2009

LEGAL BRIEF: The EEOC Sues for Sexual Harassment, Race Discrimination, and Retaliation Against Black Workers

Sorry for being briefly M.I.A. I've been having issues with my blood pressure and have been feeling very under the weather. Today's post is a legal brief update.


The Legal Brief gives everyone an idea of some of the types of cases that EEOC litigates, provides information on anti-discrimination legal proceedings/court rulings, and identifies some of the specific race-based issues that other Blacks have faced and challenged in the workplace. The Legal Brief also provides insight into the arguments presented by EEOC and the defenses offered by employers. This information may be helpful to workers, who may be considering filing a complaint or seeking legal counsel, as well as to employees who feel they are becoming embroiled in race-related issues at work.

This legal brief is about the EEOC suing Accurate Insulation for sexual harassment, race discrimination, and retaliation. The agency cites explicit sexual and gender based comments, racial slurs and retaliation against Black workers.

BALTIMORE – On April 1st, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit against Accurate Insulation, LLC, on behalf of a female and class of African American workers who were employed at its Upper Marlboro, Md. location.

According to the suit, (Civil Action 8:09-cv-00793), filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC charges that a senior manager at Accurate Insulation subjected Felicia Cooper to sexually offensive overtures, overt comments, and explicit sexual requests.

A senior manager also made racially charged statements to Lamont Womack, Elton Morgan, and Charles Briscoe by frequently referring to them as “boy” and stating that they “haven’t gotten their 40 acres and a mule,” referencing a proposed governmental reparations act following slavery. All four employees are African Americans and were employed as home insulation installers.

Shortly after they filed internal complaints, the company began exclusively hiring Latino workers to replace them, and the African American employees’ job assignments and work hours were then drastically reduced. All four African American employees were terminated after they filed complaints of discrimination with the EEOC.

EEOC filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits sexual and racial harassment, and retaliation for complaining about it. The complaint seeks monetary and injunctive relief, including back wages, and compensatory damages, the creation and dissemination of effective anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, training and punitive damages. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

“It is surprising that race and sex discrimination remain a persistent problem in the modern workforce,” said Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence. “Any form of discrimination in the workplace is unlawful, and workers cannot lose their jobs for reporting it.”

According to its web site, Accurate Insulation, LLC is an independent, locally owned installer of insulation, garage doors, gutters, and fireplaces with two locations, Upper Marlboro and Hagerstown, Md., with more coming soon.

In FY 2008, EEOC announced that workplace discrimination charge filings increased 15% to an unprecedented level of 95,402. Charges based on race, sex, and retaliation continued to be the most frequently filed charges.

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


Anonymous M.J. said...

Dear Black Factor,

I'm a (50)year old African American man, who was subjected to blatant acts of racism in 2007. This incident occurred at Northrop Grumman Laser Sytems, in Apopka, Fl

A white co-worker came into my office and called me a nigger and ask if I attended Black Panther meetings in my spare time. Their was also a noose displayed in my lab.

The white co-worker also made references to Asians, referring to them as gooks and slants, and to Rev. Al Sharpton's role in the Duke lacrosse scandal.

I reported the incident to (H.R.),they dismissed it as a joke,and wanted to know why I was so upset over co-workers comments.

(H.R.)defened the white co-worker, saying he was in his mid twenties and was from South Jersey and that he didn't call me a nigger, but a nigga instead.

I filed a charge with the EEOC, the EEOC sided with Northrop Grumman, saying that calling a black man a nigger "ONCE" in the workplace didn't create a hostile environment.

The investigator (J.Diaz) assigned to my case said in a phone conversation, we call each other spicks all the time in our office.

Northrop Grumman terminated my position on 13 Nov 07, after I vented my frustration on the Rev. Sharpton's radio show (2x), but rehired me.

I feel the EEOC in Tampa, Fl is just as guilty as Northrop Grumman, for their outrageous ruling. The white co-worker is still employed, and was given a copy of the company handbook as a form of discipline. This really sends a strong message, so much for zero tolerance policy for workplace discrimination.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HR are useless & they always side with whites without exception. Don't you think some people in EEOC are racists covertly? Racists are ubiquitous. You meet them in all types of occupations.

3:19 AM  
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2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for the home depot in ca and on numerious occasions ive been called a nigger wish someone could come investigate the happens in the store in cochella valley and see their are not any black managers in this entire district. Im sure their is a qualified pool of Afarican Americians here in the valler i just need a number to file a complaint. Cant do this in the store because of the fear of retalation HELP

4:45 PM  

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