TAMPA — An environmental cleanup company with its headquarters in Tampa has agreed to pay $2.75 million to 11 employees who alleged racial discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week.
WRS Environment and Infrastructure Inc. was accused by the EEOC of subjecting seven of its black employees at a facility in Illinois to a hostile work environment and discrimination. The EEOC said the company also retaliated against those who complained, including two workers who were laid off after complaints. The EEOC also said the company retaliated against four white employees who associated with the black workers.
The discrimination against the black employees included the use of racially derogatory language in the workplace, threats and the display of hangman's nooses, the EEOC said.
A consent decree signed by a federal judge in Illinois prohibits the company from future discrimination, harassment and retaliation against employees. The company also agreed to revise its antidiscrimination policy.
WRS officials could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.