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A Nevada hotel has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges that it subjected a class of Latino and/or brown-skinned workers to national origin and color discrimination, the agency said.
The EEOC said Pioneer Hotel Inc. in Laughlin, Nevada, had subjected the workers to a “barrage of highly offensive and derogatory comments” since at least 2008.
The agency said housekeeping and security department staffers in particular were the target of slurs by several supervisors and co-workers, and that the workers were also told not to speak Spanish during their break time.
The EEOC said the hotel failed to stop and rectify the harassment and discrimination despite repeated complaints.
In addition to paying the workers $150,000, the hotel agreed to hire an outside equal employment opportunity consultant to ensure the company implements effective policies, procedures and training to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation, the agency’ said.
“Combating systemic harassment in the workplace is a priority for the EEOC,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles district, in a statement Wednesday.
“Isolated instances of harassment can quickly escalate into a full-scale hostile work environment when employers neglect their duty to take immediate, corrective action upon learning of the initial problem. We encourage employers to effectively investigate complaints and recognize color discrimination.”
The hotel’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
A panel of psychologists told members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission there is no magic bullet to stop or prevent workplace harassment, and the efficacy of training on the issue varies widely, the EEOC said.