Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Racially hostile work environments

Approximately 250 African American workers are suing Turner Industries Group LLC, a large industrial construction company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The workers allege that they have been forced to work in a racially hostile work environment. They complain about the use of racist epithets, nooses in the workplace, and discriminatory employment practices relating to promotion and pay.

Turner Industries denies the allegations even though The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a “reasonable cause” finding against the company, and even though the company settled similar allegations made by several workers at its plant in Paris, Texas.

James Vagnini, a partner at Valli, Kane & Vagnini, is representing the plaintiffs. According to Vagnini, some members of the community believe that Turner Industries’ treatment of its employees is a private matter since Turner is a closely-held private limited liability company. But Turner Industries was formed under state limited liability company law. The fact that the Turner family enjoys limited liability because the state law allows them to do business this way makes this very much a public matter.

1 comment:

  1. How does the limited liability shield protect tortious conduct of high-level directors/officers? This seems like an abuse of limited liability, if I ever heard of one. How terrible!