Aqua Resources To Pay $150,000 To Settle EEOC Racial Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

February 05, 2018

Aqua Resources Inc., a Delaware-based water and wastewater service company, will pay $150,000 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a federal racial harassment and retaliation lawsuit.

According to the complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a white superintendent and white foremen at repeatedly made derogatory and offensive comments to and about an African-American foreman and black employees, including calling them racial epithets such as “n — — r,” “monkey,” and “boy.” The African-American foreman complained to company management officials about the racially hostile work environment. Aqua Resources not only failed to stop the harassment, it instead promoted one of the harassers and even assigned him to supervise the African-American foreman. Aqua Resources fired the African-American foreman in retaliation for complaining about the racially hostile work environment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to harass employees on the basis of race or to retaliate against employees who complain about discrimination.

In addition to the $150,000 in monetary relief to the African-American foreman and class members, the two-year consent decree resolving the suit enjoins Aqua Resources from engaging in discrimination based on race or unlawful retaliation in the future. The company will provide training on federal anti-discrimination laws, including preventing harassment. Aqua Resources will implement and disseminate to all employees a revised anti-harassment policy, and will also post a notice regarding the settlement. The company will also provide the African-American foreman with a neutral reference letter.