RANSON, W.Va. — A packaging facility that manufactures lumber and building materials in Jefferson County has agreed to a $215,000 settlement in connection with a race and religious harassment lawsuit filed be one of its employees.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the lawsuit after a Black Muslim worker accused UFP Ranson, LLC of creating a hostile work environment because of his race and religion. The settlement was reached Thursday.
The harassment happened after the employee transferred to the lumber-treating department in July 2019 and continued until he left in June 2020.
The EEOC claimed UFP employees repeatedly called the worker offensive names, told him that members of the Ku Klux Klan worked at the facility, threw objects at him while he was praying, sought to block and intimidate him when he sought to access the time clock and required him to perform unnecessary tasks.
The supervisor of the lumber-treating department also offered a pay raise to one of his employees if he agreed to harass the worker, the EEOC alleged.
The worker and a second employee reported the harassment to management, but executives failed to investigate their reports and took no action to stop the harassment.
UFP Ranson fired the worker after he told his supervisor he intended to contact the EEOC.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, UFP Ranson employees also subjected six other African American workers to a hostile work environment because of their race.
In addition to paying the $215,000 settlement, UFP Ranson is prohibited from engaging in race or religious discrimination or retaliation in the future, according to the press release.