On December 15, 2011, M. Slavin & Sons, Ltd., a retail and wholesale fish market based in New York agreed to pay $900,000 to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed in 2009 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The EEOC charged that the owners and managers of M. Slavin & Sons violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by verbally and physically harassing more than 30 black male employees because of the employees’ sex, race and national origin.
M. Slavin & Son’s owners and managers allegedly subjected employees to ongoing obscene racial and sexual harassment since 1984. Many of the workers claimed that they endured the mistreatment for more than a decade because they feared losing their jobs. According to the EEOC’s suit, owners and managers of M. Slavin and Sons subjected the employees to inappropriate sexual contact and directed derogatory racial epithets and offensive language at them.
In addition to paying $900,000 in monetary relief, M. Slavin & Sons must submit to monitoring by the EEOC for five years to ensure no future discrimination occurs. The company must also retain an independent equal employment opportunity coordinator who will receive and investigate complaints and report any new discrimination complaints to the EEOC. The owners and managers who were alleged to be the worst harassers must undergo one-on-one training; and all owners, managers and employees of M. Slavin must attend annual anti-discrimination training. Finally, the company must post an announcement about the resolution of the case in a visible place at the job site.