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Forklift firm, EEOC settle in Hispanic harassment case


A forklift company that allegedly allowed its employees to harass Hispanic workers has reached a $650,000 settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency said Tuesday.

The EEOC said Eugene, Oregon-based Pape Material Handling Inc., a nationwide company that sells, rents and services forklift products, permitted the harassment at its Fresno, California, facility in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC said the harassment included mocking employees’ accents and using derogatory slurs, and that the company failed to address employee complaints, leaving quitting as their only recourse.

In addition to paying $650,000, Pape will obtain a consultant to conduct internal audits, review and revise its antiharassment policies and create complaint procedures, among other settlement terms.

"Employers have a responsibility to create a respectful work environment for all of their employees," Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District, said in a statement. "The measures taken by Pape Material Handling should prevent further discrimination and harassment in that workplace."

Pape’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

In February, four staffing agencies under common ownership agreed to pay $475,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit that charged them with abusing Latino workers in an Alabama poultry processing plant.





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