Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN KROGER ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT IN WORKER'S CIVIL RIGHTS CASE

March 16, 2011

The Department of Justice filed an unlawful employment practices complaint against Valmont Industries, Inc. and Barrett Business Services, Inc. alleging race and national origin discrimination

Attorney General John Kroger today announced an agreement that resolves serious discrimination claims made by an African American employee that included a racially-charged incident with a noose.

"No one should have to be subjected to workplace discrimination, and particularly under conditions that gave rise to these complaints," said Attorney General Kroger.

The agreement announced today is with Tualatin-based Valmont Industries, Inc., a steel galvanizing plant, and Barrett Business Services, Inc., a temporary employment agency. The agreement resolves Xavier Perry's allegations that these joint employers failed to take immediate and appropriate investigative and remedial action in response to his complaints about workplace discrimination.

Perry, an African American, alleged that a co-worker pushed him and engaged in other discriminatory behavior that Perry perceived to be based on his race and national origin. According to facts alleged in his complaint, Perry asked his managers to move him to another work location but the request was denied. After voicing his complaints to management, the harassment escalated to the point where a noose was placed above Perry's work station. The noose remained up until a Barrett Business Services manager removed it. Perry did not return to work after this racially-charged incident. Neither employer contacted Perry after the incident to investigate the allegations, nor offered to return him to work.

Following a successful mediation, the companies agreed to the following terms:

  • The payment of monetary damages to Xavier Perry;
  • A permanent full-time position at Valmont Industries, Inc.;
  • Anti-retaliation protections going forward;
  • Both companies agreed to participate in anti-discrimination trainings through the Bureau of Labor and Industries Technical Assistance Program;
  • Valmont and Barrett Business Services will provide Perry with a positive letter of reference; and
  • A designated point-person will be selected for Perry to contact to report workplace discrimination, in addition to other reporting systems in place.

Assistant Attorney General Diane Sykes handled the case.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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