This article contains references to racial slurs that may be disturbing to readers.
- The CCC Group, a general contractor based in San Antonio, Texas, signed a decree this week to settle a racial harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- The CCC Group will provide a total of $ 420,000 in financial aid for allegedly exposing black workers to racial harassment in 2016 and for creating and maintaining a hostile work environment for its black workers. according to an EEOC approval.
- The company, which has offices across Texas as well as Florida, Utah and Tennessee, will also be required to offer a variety of anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training programs and to update its non-discrimination policy, and never with two former employees. The agreement does not contain any admission to the disputed allegations against the contractor.
The CCC Group pays $ 225,000 to Gary Williams, a former employee who allegedly has been the target of repeated harassment and discrimination, and $ 195,000 distributed among six other black employees who worked for the CCC Group in 2016, who the EEOC claimed had been racially harassed by white supervisors and employees.
At a construction site in Ravena, New York, white foremen and workers Williams and other black workers reportedly exposed numerous racist, stereotypical and degrading comments, insults, jokes and threats.
A black journeyman welder who worked for the CCC Group in May 2016 heard white workers refer to black people as “gorillas” and “monkeys” and talk about “get rid of them” [N-words]The lawsuit alleges that Ronald Verdoliva and White staff used an open radio channel to order Williams to perform tasks related to his race, including asking him to “Hurry up your black ass” and “Get your black ass down here” and call him “boy,” according to court records. The radio channel was broadcast throughout the construction site, including to various supervisors and employees.
In another incident, white foreman Donald Vollmar Williams ordered to come to an area on the construction site. When Williams arrived, Vollmar had tied a rope in a noose and placed it on the ground to ensnare Williams. As Williams got closer, Vollmar pulled the noose to the ground in front of Williams. Vollmar and other white workers laughed at the incident, according to court records.
The EEOC also accused a white supervisor of telling a black employee that for Halloween, “You don’t even have to dress up. I’ll dress in white and put a noose around your neck and we’ll walk down the street together. ”The EEOC further alleged that a white employee boasted that his ancestors owned slaves and that another white employee was telling a black employee that it was funny because slaves used to run around with a bag on their shoulder to pick cotton.
Response from the company
As part of the consent decree, the CCC Group is prohibited from employing or commissioning Verdoliva or Vollmar. Among other things, the CCC Group must conduct company-wide training courses for employees and managers in order to educate participants about issues of harassment and discrimination in the construction industry.
The lawsuit also alleges that the CCC group’s supervisors treated black workers harder than their white counterparts and gave them more physically demanding or minor work. This included tasks like pouring concrete and cleaning up after someone else’s work, rather than skilled jobs like ironworkers, riggers, welders, and boiler makers that were instead given to similarly skilled white workers.
According to court records, black employees were also assigned dangerous and difficult tasks such as welding in the air on the outside of a building under construction.
The CCC Group has a zero tolerance policy for the types of language alleged in the case and any form of discrimination or harassment, said Joe Garza, CEO of the CCC Group. He added that since the allegations first emerged five years ago, the CCC Group has implemented entirely new policies, hired an EEO manager and implemented a robust training program.
“We are pleased to have settled this case and are also pleased that the EEOC has supported the measures that our new leadership team has implemented in recent years to strengthen our guidelines against discrimination, harassment and related behavior”, Garza said in a construction dive statement sent via email. “We have the appropriate policies, diversity tracking measures and employee training in place to ensure that all employees are comfortable in their workplace and have the tools to report discriminatory or inappropriate language or actions.”
The construction industry has dealt with it a number of racist incidents on construction sites around the nation. In the last few cases, Amazon Fulfillment Center construction site in Windsor, Connecticut closes after eight ropes were found tied like nooses. The developments follow at least 20 similar cases in the US and Canada since last spring.