Utah $450,000 employment discrimination settlement serves as a cautionary tale

Author: Stephen D. Hans

Stephen D. Hans photoMesa Systems, Inc, a Colorado moving and storage company with operations in Utah, was hit with a $450,000 pay out in an employment discrimination suit that alleged mistreatment of immigrant workers based on national origin.  In addition to the hefty settlement, the defendants were also required to:

•    Revise its policies
•    Drop an English-only language policy
•    Issue an apology
•    Provide company-wide training
•    Post notices stating such behavior was unacceptable

The lawsuit initiated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the resulting settlement is the culmination of an investigation begun in 2007.

Does your company have a zero tolerance policy on discrimination?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes employment discrimination against the law and you risk being sued and/or penalized with heavy fines if you do not ensure that your company has a zero tolerance policy for employee discrimination.

In the Utah case, allegations in the complaint included:

  • Hostile work environment
  • Racist name calling and slurs
  • Company retaliation by cutting back work hours or firing employees who complained

Not only should you prohibit this type of behavior in your company, but you should also have written policies that specifically forbid these and any other form of discrimination. 

Get help with your employee discrimination policies from a NY attorney

Anti-discrimination laws in employment matters are very clear and the penalties for violating these laws can be devastating to your company.  Don’t make the same mistakes that Mesa Systems made and leave yourself open to costly litigation.  For legal assistance and guidance in how to formulate and disseminate your anti-discrimination policies, contact an experienced NY employment defense law attorney today.

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