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California trucking company sued by EEOC for race discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced that it has filed a lawsuit against a California trucking company and the corporation that now owns it for alleged discrimination based on ethnic origin and for race discrimination. The EEOC claims that the corporation that purchased the trucking company should also be held liable for discriminatory and retaliatory employment practices that took place there.

The lawsuit claims that the company engaged in retaliation and harassment of its non-white employees. The EEOC further says that the Fontana, California-based transportation company engaged in discriminatory practices in all of its locations in both northern and southern California.

The action details racial slurs made by company managers against African-American, East Indian and Latino employees. EEOC investigators found that non-white drivers were treated in a less favorable manner than white drivers with regard to employment terms and the types of routes assigned. The EEOC also maintains that workers who complained about the treatment they received were retaliated against by being fired from their jobs.

The EEOC first attempted to reach a settlement with the trucking company and its new owner over the discrimination issues. When that failed, the EEOC proceeded to file the legal action which demands both punitive and compensatory damages for the victims. The lawsuit also seeks back pay for the employees who lost their jobs through retaliatory terminations.

EEOC officials say they will seek court relief to ensure that discrimination against employees at the trucking company is eliminated and prevented from happening in the future.

A spokesperson for the EEOC said that discrimination based on national origin is a significant problem facing the Los Angeles District Office and that race discrimination is taken no less seriously. The spokesperson also added that the EEOC will vigorously enforce laws prohibiting discrimination and illegal treatment of workers.

Source: Valley News, "Lawsuit filed against trucking company for discrimination," Sept. 30, 2011