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California trucking company settles workplace discrimination suit

No worker should have to endure workplace discrimination. U.S. law guarantees citizens religious freedom and the right to a harassment-free workplace. Recently, a company operating six trucking depots in California agreed to settle workplace discrimination charges for $630,000.

The discrimination lawsuit alleged that several workers endured racial slurs, harassment and discrimination on an ongoing basis while employed by Scully Distribution Services. The employees who were allegedly discriminated against included black, Latino and Asian workers. They apparently had to endure numerous racial slurs. Workers who were thought to be Muslim were particular targets of racial epithets.

The lawsuit also contained allegations that minority employees were forced to take less desirable trucking routes. Further, at least some of the workers who complained about discrimination had their employment terminated. The suit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was filed in October 2011.

In 2010, Miami-based Ryder Systems acquired Scully Distribution Services. The settlement regarding the discrimination, however, stipulates that Ryder Systems did not take part in any of the illegal activities.

Court records show that as a result of this workplace discrimination settlement, $390,000 will go to three former Scully workers who filed the original complaints with the EEOC. The rest will go into a "class fund" which will be distributed to individuals that the government determines are eligible.

This case demonstrates just how seriously the government takes claims of workplace discrimination. California workers who feel that they have been discriminated against or harassed because of their race or religion owe it to themselves to consult with an attorney to learn what rights are granted to them under the law.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "WORKPLACE: Trucking firm pays to settle discrimination charge," Jack Katzanek, Sept. 25, 2012

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