Whiting-Turner to pay $1.2M to settle racial harassment, retaliation lawsuit

Whiting-Turner will pay $1.2 million after allegedly subjecting Black employees to a racially hostile work environment.

Whiting-Turner to pay $1.2M to settle racial harassment, retaliation lawsuit

Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. has agreed to pay $1.2 Million in settlement of a federal lawsuit, where they were accused of creating a hostile workplace for Black employees on a Tennessee site.

In a press release, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that the Baltimore-based company had reached an agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawyers will be working with the Baltimore-based construction company to revise their anti-harassment policies and train employees on the topic.

The EEOC initially charged the company for creating a racially-hostile work environment in a Google datacenter in Clarksville Tennessee where Whiting Turner served as general contractor from May 2018 to the fall of 2019, in violation of Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lawsuit claimed two Black employees had been called "boys", that employees had been subjected racially offensive vandalism in portable toilets, and on the site itself. A noose hanging from the ceiling was also alleged.

Attorneys alleged that while Black employees complained to Whiting-Turner about these problems several times, they were not addressed, and the employees who made the complaint were terminated.

Charlotte A. Burrows, EEOC chairperson, said that the allegations in the Whiting Turner matter were a prime illustration of the need for the EEOC to continue its efforts to eliminate racism from the construction industry. I am happy that the Memphis District Office was able to secure meaningful changes in the employer's practice and monetary compensation for Black workers who were harmed by discriminatory conduct.

Whiting-Turner has not admitted any wrongdoing in the settlement. The company representatives and the attorneys who represented the company in this case declined to comment on the case.

Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. was ranked number one in this year's Baltimore Business Journal List of Largest Construction and General Contractors. Company representatives said that the company had generated $606.95 in contracting revenues in Baltimore last year.