A bakery in Massachusetts has settled a race discrimination lawsuit, agreeing to pay a maximum of $95,000, the state attorney general’s office announced on Thursday.
The suit, which was brought against White’s Bakery in Brockton by the office, claimed that lower-level employees, including the victim suing, had been subjected to racial slurs and epithets by a now-fired supervisor, which created “a racially hostile work environment,” the office said in a news release.
The victim, who was described as mixed-race by the attorney general’s office, had been subject to the use of the N-word by the supervisor and other hateful language while employed there in 2018, the suit alleged. The office also claimed that management was aware of the behavior but failed to address it.
As part of the settlement, $65,000 will be given to the victim while $30,000 will be given to the state. The attorney general’s office said that employees will have to take part in anti-bias training, including the former supervisor, as well as requiring the bakery to update its policy on equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment.
The attorney general’s office said that if the bakery is compliant within the terms of the agreement, $15,000 of the penalty could be suspended.
“Workers should be able to do their job in an environment safe and free from harassment,” state Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “Employers need to ensure that they have the right training, policies and accountability to make sure things like this don’t happen in their workplaces.”
The bakery said in a statement that “[f]or the past two years, White’s Bakery has vehemently fought false allegations that the bakery’s owners in any way tolerated workplace discrimination against a former employee. White’s Bakery is a responsible, progressive employer that has always opposed discrimination of any kind."
"In an effort to move forward without the continued burden, stress, distraction and substantial financial obligations that accompany litigation, White’s Bakery reached a settlement with the AG’s office," it added.