Racial harassment case settled for $180,000

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finally resolved its race and national origin harassment suit this June against the privately owned NFI Interactive Logistics LLC, headquartered in New Jersey. The company is a provider of transportation and distribution services. The case was related to the conduct at the company’s now-closed Bolingbrook facility, and had remained pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois before Honorable Magistrate Judge Michael Mason.[1]

The matter was handled by trial attorneys Deborah Hamilton and Richard Mrizek of EEOC’s Chicago District Office under the supervision of Supervisory Trial Attorney Gregory Gochanour. The Chicago District Office with area offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement as well as the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.

As a result, the company has agreed to take proactive measures to help ensure that its employees work in an environment free from harassment, that would include providing anti-harassment training for certain human resource professionals and managers, and tracking and reporting future complaints of harassment. In addition to this, the company has also agreed to pay $180,000 as a matter of compensation to five of its employees that according to the agency were victimized during their employment with the company.

The EEOC Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson is of the view that:

“This employer is doing just what we hope – and expect – that all employers will do: taking proactive steps to ensure that all employees work in an environment where no employee is subject to harassment based on race or national origin”…..”Experience demonstrates that these kinds of employer actions make a real difference, and we are pleased that NFI has embraced its responsibilities.”

Julianne Bowman, the EEOC district director in Chicago, advised that no employer should be without a robust anti-harassment policy and training, further ensuring that their employees have a clear understanding of the same.

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