Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $440,000 to a group of Hispanic employees in Fresno who say they were subjected to ethnic slurs and derogatory remarks by a co-worker.
The settlement was announced recently by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC sued Wal-Mart and its affiliate Sam's Club in 2009, alleging the workers were being harassed and that Wal-Mart failed to halt the mistreatment in a timely manner a charge Walmart has denied. (WCxKit)
At least nine employees of Mexican descent and one, who is married to a Mexican, claim they endured ethnic slurs on a daily basis by a co-worker, who was also Hispanic. The workers, who provided food samples to customers, complained in April 2006, but no immediate action was taken, EEOC officials report.
Instead, the harassment intensified, according to Christine Park-Gonzalez, an EEOC program analyst in Los Angeles.
It was not until the workers filed a complaint with EEOC in October that Sam's Club fired the harasser in December 2006.
According to Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter, the company fired the worker once the full extent of the allegations was brought to the company's attention.
As part of the settlement, Wal-Mart also agreed to make changes in how it deals with these issues at its Fresno and Bakersfield Sam's Club stores. (WCxKit)
The company committed to a three-year agreement to provide training to employees regarding anti-discrimination laws; teach managers how to investigate and report harassment complaints; and create a tracking system for complaints.
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