Consolidated Freightways has lost its second racial harassment lawsuit in five months and is battling a separate federal lawsuit alleging the company tolerated a racially hostile workplace at its Kansas City truck terminal,The Oregonian of Portland reported.
A U.S. District Court jury ordered the Vancouver, WA-based trucking firm to pay $500,000 to mechanic Roberto Guerrero for discriminating against him based on race.
Guerrero alleged his co-workers subjected him to slurs and comments such as "Yo quiero Taco Bell." They also tossed manure on him and locked him in a trailer on one occasion, and tied him to a ladder in plastic wrap and forced him into the cold on another, he alleged. Guerrero said his supervisors failed to act on his complaints.
It was the second harassment verdict against the company in five months. In March, a jury awarded James Lee, an African-American mechanic, $1.5 million because he worked in a hostile environment. Consolidated Freightways is appealing the verdict.
Lee said he was subjected to racial slurs such as "Fat Albert" that intensified after he complained to superiors. He also said he was denied job opportunities and pay raises.
In May, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on behalf of 12 African American workers alleging Consolidated Freightways has tolerated a hostile work environment at its Kansas City terminal since 1997.