Chicago bakery Gonnella Baking Co. agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a retaliation and national origin harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of seven Mexican employees. According to allegations in the lawsuit Gonnella did nothing to stop the harassment of the employees. This type of behavior is not acceptable and illegal in Illinois.
The employees allege that their manager made hostile comments about them because they were Mexican. Once employees complained to management about the comments they were subjected to shifts that lasted over 12 hours and in some cases 19 hours. They were also told to not complain further about the discrimination or else face the consequences. This type of behavior is considered retaliation. In Chicago there are many companies that treat employees like this and hopefully more employees will come forward to assert their rights.
“The derogatory language and other harassment directed at the employees in this case are entirely inappropriate in the workplace,” said John Hendrickson, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago.