Chicago Meat Plant to Pay $1.1M to Settle Race Discrimination, Retaliation Suit

October 13, 2021

Federal authorities say a Chicago meat processing company that was charged with unlawfully harassing black employees, rejecting them for hire, and firing a black employee for complaining, will pay more than $1 million to settle a federal racial discrimination case.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said Chicago Meat Authority will pay $1.1 million and furnish other relief to settle the discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the EEOC.

The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that Chicago Meat Authority discriminated against Black applicants in hiring, subjected African American employees who were in the workforce to racial harassment, and fired a Black employee because of his race and in retaliation for complaining about racial harassment.

The EEOC’s investigation revealed that the company favored hiring Hispanic employees over African American employees, even though the company is located in a largely Black neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The investigation further revealed that African American employees who were hired were subjected to repeated racial slurs by both co-workers and managers.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC brought its lawsuit, EEOC v. Chicago Meat Authority, N.D. Illinois, No. 18-cv-01357, on Feb. 22, 2018 after the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation conciliation with the company.

The consent decree settling the suit was entered this morning by Judge John Kness of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

In addition to providing $1.1 million in monetary relief to the discrimination victims, the decree requires significant injunctive relief. The decree prohibits the company from discriminating in the future; mandates the hiring of rejected applicants who still want jobs at the company; requires the company to make good faith efforts to reach hiring goals for Black employees; and mandates implementation of anti-harassment training and policies.

Source: EEOC

Topics Lawsuits

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