Illegal to Retaliate against Employee Complaining About Racial Harassment

     The EEOC filed a lawsuit against a contractor who allegedly subjected one of its employees to racial harassment and then retaliated against the employee by terminating his employment when he complained about the harassment.  A bi-racial (Caucasian and African-American) employee, Rodney Woodall, had worked for Floyd’s as a backhoe operator.  The Complaint claims that in July 2016, Woodall’s foreman yelled “hurry up n*****!” at a Caucasian employee who was standing near Woodall and called an employee “n*****” over the radio less than a week after the first incident.  Woodall complained about the racial harassment and derogatory language to the Superintendent.  The next day, the foreman allegedly confronted Woodall, told Woodall that he would call him whatever he wanted (including “Oreo”) and that if he didn’t like it, then he should find another job.  Woodall reported these comments to the Superintendent too.  The next day, Floyd’s transferred Woodall to Missouri and assigned him to perform more physically demanding work digging with a shovel, instead of operating a backhoe.  Less than a week after the transfer, Floyd’s terminated Woodall.  Such alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination against employees who complain about racial harassment.  See EEOC v. Floyd’s Equipment, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-175 SNLJ (E.D. Mo.).

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