EEOC v. Exel, Inc.

No. 04-CV-2005-RPM-BNB (D. Col. Dec. 20, 2005)

The Denver District Office filed this Title VII case alleging that defendant, a global company that provides warehouse and distribution services to corporations, discharged charging party, a traffic clerk in the Coors Brewing Company warehouse in Golden, Colorado, based on his race and color (black) and in retaliation for complaining about discrimination. In April 2003, one of charging party's coworkers, a white woman, initiated two racial incidents. First, she expounded on her view that African Americans are more athletic than whites because they were inbred as slaves and have an extra muscle in their legs. She also said she was afraid to be around certain people of color. Charging party and other employees were offended and argued with her. Charging party said she should take her hood off and not burn a cross on his lawn. Several supervisors witnessed portions of the discussion, but none intervened or reported it. Three days later the same coworker told charging party that a customer with a rebel flag on his truck said he did not want "that nigger" (referring to charging party) waiting on him. She defended the customer's statement based on freedom of speech. Charging party immediately reported the statement to a supervisor. About a week later, the white woman resigned, complaining that charging party had created a hostile work environment for her. She rescinded her resignation after the white plant manager asked her if she would come back if he terminated charging party. Defendant investigated both of the above racial incidents, but failed to interview two black employees who witnessed the first incident. Defendant fired charging party in May 2003, in part for the hood and cross comment he made during the first racial incident, but did not discipline the white woman who initiated the incident or the supervisors who failed to report it. Almost a month after the incident, and 2 weeks after charging party's termination, Defendant gave the white woman a Final Written Warning for her role in the second incident (failing to report the truck driver's statement to management and sharing it with charging party). Under the 3-year consent decree resolving this case, charging party will receive $145,000 in monetary relief. The decree enjoins defendant, at its Golden, Colorado facility, from engaging in any employment practice which discriminates on the basis of race or color and from engaging in reprisal or retaliation under Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, or the EPA.

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