YRC Inc., parent of Yellow and Roadway trucking lines, agreed to pay $11 million to settle allegations that black workers at its now-shuttered Chicago Ridge terminal were subjected to racial harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said.
Nearly two years ago, YRC agreed to pay $10 million to settle similar harassment claims by black workers at its terminals in Sauk Village and Elk Grove Village. That settlement was reached after the EEOC had filed a federal complaint on behalf of employees at the two Illinois terminals, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The EEOC alleged in both lawsuits that black employees at the three terminals were threatened with hangman’s nooses made of twine and death threats scrawled on bathroom walls. The commission also alleged that work teams at terminals were segregated by race, with black employees given more physically demanding work than their white co-workers. Although black employees lodged complaints with their supervisors, the company failed to take action, the EEOC said.
EEOC said it tried to resolve the complaints in both cases with YRC before filing the federal cases. In both settlements YRC neither acknowledged nor denied that employees were harassed.
The EEOC said that, overall, more than 600 current and former black employees at the three truck terminals could potentially share in the $21 million the company has agreed to pay.