Sutter Transfer settles race harassment lawsuit

| Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A California based trucking company and its sister earth-moving company will pay $30,000 to an African-American driver and his white coworker as part of a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Lonnie Winstead was targeted by his dispatcher with racially offensive comments such as “gorilla,” “porch monkey” and the “N-word,” according to an EEOC press release announcing the settlement. Winstead, along with another driver who was white but witnessed the harassment, both complained to company management. The company failed to take immediate action, according to the EEOC.

Under the settlement, Sutter Transfer Service will pay Winstead and the other driver $30,000, provide annual anti-harassment training, revise company policy and complaint procedures, post a notice of regarding the lawsuit and report all harassment and discrimination complaints to the EEOC for two years.

“People who work expect to be treated with respect,” Winstead said. “I was the only black truck driver working there but not the only one offended when our dispatcher was allowed to give out racist comments right along with work assignments. No one should put up with discrimination!  I’m glad I exercised my rights and reported this to the EEOC.”

Sutter Transfer declined to comment on the settlement on the advice of the company’s attorney.

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