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Metal finishing plant to pay $40K to settle racial bias case

Metal finishing plant to pay $40K to settle racial bias case

A South Carolina metal finishing plant has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit in which, it was charged, a black worker was subjected to racial discrimination, then fired after he complained.

The EEOC said Thursday that Tieron L. Parks, a powder coater at Bishopville-based Carolina Metal Finishing L.L.C. was repeatedly subjected to racial slurs by two white employees from around October 2011 until May 2012.

The EEOC said the harassment continued even after he complained to company management, and he was fired within hours of his final complaint in May 2012.

In addition to paying $40,000 in monetary relief, the company must abide by a two-year consent decree that requires it to conduct antidiscrimination training, among other provisions, the EEOC said.

“We are pleased that Carolina Metal Finishing settled this case, and that the company will provide training to employees on federal anti-discrimination laws,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office, in a statement. “Racial discrimination remains a problem in today's workplaces and a major concern to our agency. The EEOC will continue to fight for the rights of employees affected by such illegal employment practices.”

The firm's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

In November, a federal district judge entered a $735,000 consent decree resolving a race harassment lawsuit in which the EEOC charged a Chicago grocery wholesaler with tolerating a racially hostile workplace.

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