Waste and Recycling Company Ordered to Pay $228,603 for Racial Discrimination

 
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
 
Titan Waste Services, Inc., a Milton, Fla., waste disposal and recycling company, has been ordered to pay $228,603 for violating federal law by harassing and then firing a truck driver because of his race.

According to the EEOC's suit, Titan's highest-level managers subjected its sole black driver, Michael Brooks, to discriminatory treatment during his employment, including assigning white drivers more favorable routes, requiring Brooks to perform degrading and unsafe work assignments.   Brooks was also subjected to harassment such as racial slurs and racially derogatory insults, taunting and racial stereotypes, including the use of the "N-word."  According to the EEOC, shortly before the 2008 presidential election, Titan's facility manager terminated Brooks without cause after discussing the upcoming election with him.

Racial discrimination, including racial harassment, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Titan Waste Services, Inc. Case No. 3:10-cv-00379) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida after an investigation was completed by the EEOC's Mobile Local Office and after the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  

After depositions and other discovery in the case were completed and settlement discussions were unsuccessful, Titan's attorney withdrew from the case.  Subsequently, the court found Titan did not continue to assert its defenses and ignored several orders of the court, displaying a reckless and willful disregard for the judicial proceedings.  As a result, a default judgment was entered by U.S.  District Judge M. Casey Rodgers, based upon evidence submitted by the EEOC.  The court's judgment included lost wages and other damages suffered by Brooks.  

According to company information, Titan is a Florida corporation that provides waste disposal and recycling services to commercial and residential customers.  

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