Henredon to Pay $465,000 in Racial Harassment Suit

HIGH POINT, NC – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the settlement of a racial harassment lawsuit for $465,000 and remedial relief against Henredon Furniture Industries Inc. on behalf of African American employees who were reportedly subjected to “a persistent racially hostile work environment at the furniture plant.”

According to the EEOC, from approximately 1998 through January 2006, African American employees at Henredon’s High Point manufacturing plant were subjected to racial slurs and name calling, as well as threats by hangman’s nooses that were displayed at the plant. The suit alleged that the harassment occurred almost daily.

“The case is the latest indicator that racial harassment in general, and nooses in particular, remain persistent problems at some job sites nationwide,” said EECO Chair Naomi Earp. “It’s time for corporate America to be more proactive in preventing and eliminating racist behavior in the workplace."

In addition to the $465,000 in compensatory damages to be divided among the seven members of a class-action lawsuit, the settlement requires Henredon to provide anti-discrimination training, posting the notice about the settlement in its plant and requiring Henredon to report future complaints of racial harassment to the EEOC.

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