Resolves Federal Lawsuit Steel Plant in Eloy, Arizona Harassed Black and Latino Workers
PHOENIX – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that Schuff Steel Company, a steel fabrication company headquartered in Phoenix, agreed to pay $500,000 and implement companywide policy changes and prevention measures to resolve a lawsuit alleging race harassment, national origin harassment, and retaliation.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Schuff Steel violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by harassing Black and Latino employees at its Eloy, Arizona plant and retaliating against them when they complained about the harassment. Schuff Steel’s Eloy plant manager regularly used racial slurs and epithets against Black and Latino employees, including using the N-word, and calling Latino employees “beaners.” The plant manager ridiculed Latino employees who did not speak English well and, on several occasions, declared “white power” in front of Black employees. The EEOC alleged that the plant manager retaliated against employees who complained about the harassment by firing them or moving them to the night shift.

After initially attempting to settle the matter through its conciliation process, the EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (EEOC v. Schuff Steel Company, Case No. 2:22-cv-01653-JJT) in September 2022.

Under the three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit, Schuff Steel will, among other things, pay $500,000 to the aggrieved employees; retain an outside consultant or outside legal counsel to review and revise Schuff Steel’s EEO policies and procedures, and provide anti-discrimination training to its employees, managers, and human resources personnel at the Eloy facility and at its Phoenix headquarters. Schuff Steel will also ensure that the policies are distributed in English and Spanish and that a hotline is available to report discrimination and/or harassment complaints.

“Employees—no matter what industry they work in, their racial background, or their national origin—have the right to work in an environment free of harassment and discrimination and without the threat of being fired or retaliated against for complaining about the harassment,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “No person should ever have to work in such a racist and hostile work environment in order to make a living to support their families. And it is particularly troublesome that this behavior was done by a manager in this case.”

Nancy Sienko, acting director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, said, “This settlement demonstrates that the EEOC will continue to work tirelessly to root out discrimination wherever it is found, in any industry. We are proud to continue the fight against employment discrimination and to encourage employers to adopt robust EEO policies and take immediate action to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace.”

For more information specifically on race and color discrimination, please visit For more information on national origin discrimination, visit For more information on harassment, visit

The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico.

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