EEOC Gives Green Light to Xerox Racial Discrimination Charges

August 7, 2002 ( - The federal anti-discrimination agency has upheld complaints that African-American employees at Xerox Corp's Cincinnati facilities were racially harassed.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that African-American Xerox employees in Cincinnati have been “subjected to a racially hostile environment.” 

That included racial slurs, display of black dolls with nooses around their necks, and more frequent disciplining than white co-workers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While concluding that the black employees as a group suffered discrimination, the agency also upheld complaints by four Xerox workers covering the period from the late 1990s to the present. The four employees are expected to be the lead plaintiffs in a class-action suit that lawyers say they expect to file against Xerox within a few weeks, the Journal said.

A Xerox spokesman, Bill McKee, told the Journal that an internal investigation didn’t turn up any evidence supporting the allegations.

The EEOC findings mark the first independent corroboration of a spurt of bias complaints against Xerox in recent months. Hundreds of black Xerox employees around the country have alleged racial discrimination. (See Workers Hit Xerox with Discrimination Complaints . )

A class-action lawsuit by black sales employees against Xerox is pending in US District Court in Brooklyn, New York. Also pending are EEOC complaints submitted by employees in Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Houston.

In March, a federal court in Houston dismissed discrimination claims by a half-dozen Xerox workers. Of the six Houston employees, only one sought an EEOC investigation, and the agency found no evidence of discrimination, according to Xerox.