Many of our readers in Minnesota may know that not every lawsuit that is filed will go to trial. In fact, the vast majority are disposed of in another manner, and settlement is one of the most common results to a lawsuit. Employment discrimination claims are particularly prone to settlement, which can be beneficial to all involved, as a settlement does away with the need to go through expensive and time-consuming litigation, and can also provide the injured party with the compensation he or she needs.
But, sometimes, an employer will be subject to more requirements when it settles an employment discrimination claim. For instance, a recent report noted that a construction company in Minnesota that is settling a race discrimination lawsuit will not only have to pay $125,000, it will also have to make changes to its employee handbook on discrimination complaints, train management personnel at the company on race discrimination protection law and report all race-based harassment or discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over the course of a two-year period of time.
So, how did this company engage in race discrimination? Well, the EEOC complaint in the case alleges that the company created a hostile work environment for two black employees. Specifically, there were allegations that other employees at the company subjected the two black employees to physical threats.
While news reports may not make it seem like our country is making much progress on the issue of race relations, it is important to remember that there are federal and state laws in place to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Minnesota Construction Company to Pay $125K to Settle Race Harassment Lawsuit," Sept. 13, 2017