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EEOC Files Retaliation Lawsuit Alleging Employee Was Unlawfully Fired For Complaining About Racial Slurs

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For nearly twenty years, our Marion, County, Florida employment discrimination lawyers have represented employees who have opposed discriminatory employment practices by employers.  Under the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal employment discrimination laws, employees are protected from retaliation when they complain about perceived employment discrimination in the workplace.  As explained by the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford v. Metropolitan Gov. of Nashville & Davidson County, 555 U.S. 217 (2009), “fear of retaliation is the leading reason why people stay silent instead of voicing their concerns about bias and discrimination.”  A retaliation lawsuit recently filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) shows that enforcement of the federal anti-discrimination laws depends on the willingness of employees to oppose unlawful discrimination at work without fear of retaliation. In a press release issued on June 26, 2019, the EEOC announced that it has filed a retaliation lawsuit against George W. Morosani & Associates, LLC (Morosani) pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  Under Title VII, employers are forbidden from discriminating against employees on the basis of race.  Title VII also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about perceived race discrimination, including the use of racial slurs in the workplace.

On June 26, 2019, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, EEOC v. George W. Morosani & Associates, LLC, Case No. 1:19-cv-203, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process.  The EEOC has brought the retaliation lawsuit on behalf of a former employee of Morosani, Terrance Stubblefield (Stubblefield).  The EEOC claims that Stubblefield was unlawfully fired in retaliation for complaining about perceived racial discrimination against him.  In this article, our Marion County, Florida employment discrimination attorneys explain the EEOC’s allegations against Morosani. 

EEOC’s Allegations Of Unlawful Retaliation

In May 2017, Stubblefield, who is African-American, began working for Morosani as a maintenance helper.  Stubblefield worked on a crew, which was supervised by a Maintenance Supervisor, with three other maintenance helpers.  On July 27, 2017, the Maintenance Supervisor complained that the caulking work performed by Stubblefield was dirty because Stubblefield is black.  The Maintenance Supervisor then began directing racial slurs at Stubblefield.  Stubblefield left the workplace and contacted a Morosani manager.  While speaking with the manager by phone that same day, Stubblefield complained about the Maintenance Supervisor’s used of racial slurs.  The manager told Stubblefield that if he could not work with the Maintenance Supervisor, then Morosani did not have a job for him.  The manager informed Stubblefield that he would get back to him regarding his complaint.  On August 1, 2017, Morosani fired Stubblefield.

EEOC Fights For Retaliation Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  In enforcing the federal civil rights laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of victims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  In a press release issued by the EEOC regarding the case, a Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, Lynnette A. Barnes, stated that “[a]n employer cannot fire an employee for reporting the use of racial slurs or other discriminatory conduct in the workplace.”  “Companies should put their energy into eradicating such misconduct,” Ms. Barnes explained, “rather than punishing those who report it.”  Ms. Barnes added, the “EEOC will continue to fight for discrimination victims.”

Free Consultation With Ocala Retaliation Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, we have represented employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation victims in hundreds of cases before the EEOC.  If you have been retaliated against for complaining about employment discrimination or have questions about the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal civil rights laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Marion County, Florida retaliation attorneys.  Our employment law attorneys take employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases on a contingency fee basis.  This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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