The Consent Decree, signed by US District Judge Morrison England Jr, resolves an EEOC lawsuit charging that four Pakistani-American employees endured repeated harassment, such as ridicule toward their daily Muslim prayer rituals and offensive name-calling, at the Stockton, California plant, according to a EEOC news release.
Under terms of the settlement, Stockton denies all charges but will pay the monetary damages to resolve the three-year old suit. Additionally, the company agreed to corporate policy changes, implementing discrimination prevention training, and employing a policy guaranteeing employees the right to request religious accommodations.
The former machine operator and charging party, Abdul Rehman, speaking through an interpreter, said, “I felt that we were humiliated and given the worst assignments simply because of where we were born and our religious beliefs. But we are Americans and, with the assistance of the EEOC, I have found that the American laws [against discrimination] protect us too.”
“This is a fair settlement that allows the former employees to move on with their lives and ensures current and future employees a work environment free of harassment and accommodating of sincere religious beliefs. Religion and national origin are two of the fastest growing types of discrimination charges filed nationally with the EEOC,” said EEOC Regional Attorney William Tamayo.
Tamayo noted the two discrimination types increased in 21% and 13%, respectively, in Fiscal Year 2002.
The case, filed in federal district court in January 2000 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is EEOC v. The Herrick Corporation, d/b/a Stockton Steel, CIV S 00-0102 MCE DAD.