EEOC v. Pace Services L.P. (S.D. Tex. 2010): Hostile Work Environment Case

Representing a group of Muslim truck drivers, the EEOC brought suit under Title VII against the group’s employer, Pace Services (a trucking company), alleging that the company subjected them to a hostile work environment. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the company did nothing to stop their supervisor from calling them a variety of derogatory names, such as al-Qaeda, Taliban, and Osama. The company argued a recognized affirmative defense against the discrimination claim by attempting to show that it took reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any racially-discriminatory behavior and that the employee(s) failed to take advantage of said corrections. The plaintiffs argued that the defendant could not prove the essential elements of that defense, and thus, that summary judgment should be granted in their favor. The Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ motion, concluding that the defendant had provided evidence sufficient to allow a jury to conclude that they had adequately proved the elements of the affirmative defense.

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