Fish Seller M. Slavin & Sons Sued for Male-On-Male Sexual and Racial Harassment
December 9, 2009
Our Los Angeles, California Employment and Labor Lawyers have been following the The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) filing on Monday of a shocking lawsuit against M. Slavin and Sons, accusing the managers and owners of the fish distribution company of violating federal law by verbally and physically harassing black male employees based on sex, race and national origin, and creating a hostile environment in the workplace.
According to the lawsuit, supervisors of the Brooklyn-based company regularly taunted and harassed black male employees on the overnight shift--a group that included male African immigrants and American-born black employees. The commission revealed shocking allegations in a press release, accusing the owners and managers of taunting, making obscenely sexual comments and racial slurs, physical groping, inappropriate rubbing, and the jabbing of fish hooks in employees' buttocks. The lawsuit states that in one instance, a supervisor asked one African immigrant worker if he had engaged in sex with elephants. Other supervisors reportedly asked the workers to have anal and oral sex.
The employees allegedly left their positions because of the harassment, and the worker who came forward with the original complaint received retaliation. The EEOC reported that after the worker complained, the manager retaliated against him by instructing other co-workers not to communicate with him, by reprimanding him when he spoke to other employees, and by punishing him with assigning him with frequent garbage duty.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It is also against the law for employers to retaliate against employees who complain against such unlawful treatment. According to Sunu P. Chandy, an EEOC senior trial attorney, this case represents a new area for the commission, where both gender and race come together, as it relates to men of color. The EEOC reports that the number of sexual harassment complaints in the workplace filed by males rose from 11.6 percent in 1997 to 15.9 percent in 2008.
Chandy claimed that this horrendous male-on-male sexual and racial harassment must be challenged. According to the suit, these employees were consistently told by the white managers that no one would believe them or listen to their harassment complaints. The EEOC is determined to stop sexual harassment, and by supporting this case, proves that the owners were wrong. The EEOC aims to obtain fair compensation for the workers in this case who endured harassment, and to put into place new policies to prevent this kind of workplace discrimination from happening in the future.
If you or someone you know in Orange County or throughout Southern California has experienced sexual harassment, race-based discrimination, or retaliation in the workplace, our experienced team of Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys can help find a solution for your recovery. Contact Howard Law, PC today, for a free consultation.
EEOC Sues M. Slavin & Sons, Inc. for Male-On-Male Sexual, Racial & National Origin Harassment, EEOC Press Release, December 7, 2009
U.S. Suit Says Fish Seller Harassed Black Male Workers, The New York Times, December 9, 2009
Fishmonger M. Slavin & Sons Sued for Sexual and Racial Harassment, The Village Voice, December 9, 2009
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