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Judge rules against Utah company in racial discrimination suit

Judge rules against Utah company in racial discrimination suit



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A judge has ruled against a Utah construction company accused of creating a hostile environment for black employees.

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball granted partial summary judgment to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its lawsuit against Magna-based Holmes & Holmes Industrial Inc.

The EEOC's lawsuit alleged a Holmes site superintendent referred to three black employees with racial slurs almost every time he spoke to them, and frequently told racial jokes, including ones about lynching.

The suit filed in 2010 also claims the portable toilets at the work site had racist graffiti on the inside and outside.

Antonio Bratcher, a pipe fitter, and Joby Bratcher, a welder's fire watcher -- who both made $17 an hour -- endured two years of taunts and racial epithets from a supervisor and co-workers on a job site at the Chevron oil refinery in North Salt Lake, said Mary Jo O'Neill, a regional attorney for the EEOC.


When the two men complained to supervisors verbally and in writing, they were fired, according to the suit.

When the two men complained to supervisors verbally and in writing, they were fired, according to the suit.

Other Holmes & Holmes employees, including white and Navajo workers, corroborated the brothers' complaint, O'Neill said. The company has about 60 employees.

"I think this is egregious," O'Neill said at the time of the suit's filing. "I don't think anyone should have to put up with that kind of name-calling in order to make a living and support their families."

Contributing: ksl.com

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