Today, the EEOC announced that Grand Junction, Colorado-based household goods carrier Mesa Systems, Inc. has agreed to pay the largest discrimination settlement ever achieved by the EEOC in Utah.
According to the EEOC, Hispanic workers at Mesa Systems’ Salt Lake City warehouse were subjected to discrimination. The immigrant employees were treated poorly and called names such as, “(expletive Mexicans,” “(expletive) you, mojado,” and “wetbacks” by the warehouse managers.
The EEOC claims that the number of employees who were subjected to the slurs also had their hours reduced and terminations.
Mesa Systems was fined by the EEOC and the company agreed to a $450,000 settlement. Furthermore, the company must undergo extensive injunctive relief, including training; revision of policies; the rescission of the restrictive language policy; apologies to the victims of discrimination; anti-discrimination notice posting; reporting to the EEOC; and programs to stop any future violations of Title VII.
“We are very pleased that we were able to work out a strong settlement of this case with Mesa Systems,” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. “This case is representative of the EEOC’s proud history of ensuring that workplaces are free of discrimination based on national origin.”
EEOC Phoenix District Director Rayford Irvin said, “Offensive slurs and comments deriding one’s national origin violate federal law and are never appropriate in the workplace. Employers need to ensure that this behavior is not allowed.”
Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the Phoenix District, added, “We are gratified that Mesa Systems resolved this case early in the litigation process. We appreciate that they have agreed to policy changes, training and injunctive relief in order to ensure that their workplace is a more positive work environment.”
According to its website, Mesa Systems delivers premium, customized mobility solutions to a diverse corporate, commercial and residential customer base through four transportation subsidiaries operating in six states.
The EEOC enforces the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The Phoenix District Office covers Utah, Arizona, Colorado, part of New Mexico, and Wyoming. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.