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EEOC Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Claiming Employees Were Racially Harassed Settles

Serious man standing in office and holding no racism placard

In a press release issued on November 12, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has entered into a Consent Decree settling resolving a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, d/b/a Sikorsky Global Helicopters (Sikorsky). On September 30, 2019, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, d/b/a Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Case No. 2:19-cv-04514, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Before commencing the lawsuit, the EEOC endeavored to reach a pre-litigation settlement with Sikorsky through its voluntary conciliation process. Unable to resolve the case through voluntary conciliation efforts, the EEOC filed the lawsuit in order to remedy the alleged discriminatory employment practices.

In the Consent Decree, which was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker on November 12, 2020, Sikorsky agreed to pay $107,500 to resolve the racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. In this article, our Ocala, Florida lawyers for racial discrimination victims explain the EEOC’s allegations of unlawful discriminatory employment practices against Sikorsky.

Protection For Racial Discrimination Victims

The EEOC filed the racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of two African-American employees of Sikorsky, Jamie Williams (Williams) and Demisa Gayton (Gayton). Title VII, which is the lynchpin of Congressional efforts to eradicate discriminatory employment practices from the American workplace, protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race. Racial harassment is a form of race discrimination forbidden by Title VII. Racial harassment which is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create a hostile work environment violates Title VII. Under Title VII, employees are also protected from retaliation when they complain about perceived racial discrimination in the workplace. Under Title VII, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to take adverse employment action against an employee, such as demotion, reduction in pay, or discharge, because the employee has lodged a racial discrimination complaint.

The EEOC claims that Sikorsky engaged in race discrimination in violation of Title VII by subjecting Williams and Gayton to a racially hostile work environment. The EEOC further claims that Sikorsky violated Title VII by failing to hire her as a permanent employee in retaliation for her complaining about racial discrimination and opposing discriminatory employment practices.

Workers Claim Racial Harassment

Sikorsky is a manufacturer of helicopters for commercial and military use based in Stratford, Connecticut. Williams and Gayton were employed as aircraft painters in the Prep and Paint Department at Sikorsky’s plant in Coatersville, Pennsylvania. In 2013, Williams and Gayton were hired as temporary employees.

Shortly after they were hired, according to the EEOC, Williams and Gayton were subjected to racial harassment by co-workers in the Prep and Paint Department. The alleged racial hostile work environment harassment included racially-based derogatory remarks, racial slurs, racially inflammatory pictures, and referring to African-Americans as “you people.” Gayton also learned that her co-workers had painted swastikas on the fuselage of a helicopter. The EEOC alleges that Williams and Gayton complained about the racial abuse to their day shift supervisor of the Prep and Paint Department. The EEOC contends that despite the complaints by Williams and Gayton, neither the shift supervisor nor the human resources department took any action to prevent the racial harassment from continuing.

Worker Claims Unlawful Retaliation

The EEOC further claims that Sikorsky retaliated against Gayton for making a racial discrimination complaint. Shortly after she lodged a racial discrimination complaint with the shift supervisor, according to the EEOC, Gayton discovered that the shift supervisor had rejected her applications to become a permanent employee as an aircraft painter, which would have offered greater compensation, benefits, and job security. Instead of interviewing her for a permanent position, the EEOC maintains, the shift supervisor invited a less senior, less qualified white temporary employee, who had been trained by Gayton, to apply. The shift supervisor then selected the white employee for the permanent position.

Attorneys For Racial Discrimination Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal employment and labor laws making racial discrimination an unlawful employment practice. As part of its Congressional mandate to eliminate discriminatory employment practices from the American workplace, the EEOC files lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims, including racial discrimination victims. In a press release issued by the EEOC on November 12, 2020 regarding the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Jamie R. Williamson, stated that “we encourage all employers to engage in proactive prevention to ensure that employees are not subjected to unlawful harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.”

Ocala, FL Lawyers For Race Discrimination Victims

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida attorneys for racial discrimination victims have litigated racial discrimination cases in Florida courts for more than two decades. If you have experienced racial discrimination in the workplace or have questions about your protection against racial discrimination under the federal anti-discrimination laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida lawyers racial discrimination victims. Our employment and labor law attorneys take racial discrimination 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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