EEOC v. Wolverine Bronze Co.

No. 2:04CV73813 (E.D. Mi. Nov. 9, 2005)

In this Title VII suit, the Detroit District Office claimed that defendant, a small manufacturing company located in Roseville, Michigan, harassed and discharged a maintenance apprentice based on his race (black). Charging party worked for defendant from July 1997 until July 2003. In May 2002, he and another black employee complained to defendant's part-owner/manager ("owner") that another employee was using racially derogatory language. A few months later, the owner began to make racial statements and otherwise abuse charging party verbally and physically. The most troubling incident occurred in July 2003. The owner pulled a plastic bag (used to line 55 gallon drums) over charging party's head and almost down to his waist, pinning his arms against him. A week later, in the heat of an argument about the plastic bag incident, the owner fired charging party. The owner retracted the firing, but charging party, who received psychological treatment for his reaction to the owner's conduct, did not return to work. Under the 2-year consent decree resolving this case, charging party will receive $100,000 in compensatory damages. The affirmative relief in the decree applies to all Wolverine Bronze- affiliated companies in which Smith has an ownership interest and to all employees working for those companies. Defendant is enjoined from creating, maintaining, or tolerating racial harassment. Defendant will establish a procedure for reporting and investigating complaints about incidents of racial harassment and intimidation. An individual may report racial harassment to the Human Resources Manager using a publicized 800 number, or to his/her supervisor or manager. The Human Resources Manager must make reasonable attempts to honor requests for confidentiality and must inform the complainant of his/her right to contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) or the EEOC with a complaint.

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