Racial bias at work alleged

October 12, 2005|By JUSTIN FENTON | JUSTIN FENTON,SUN REPORTER

Bob Ward Cos., an Edgewood-based homebuilder, is facing a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former employee who was fired from the company last year.

The EEOC alleges in a news release issued yesterday that the man, the only black construction superintendent with the company at the time, was subjected to different terms and conditions of employment, faced racially derogatory language and jokes from subcontractors, and was fired because of his race.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of back pay and damages, and implementation of policies to eliminate racial discrimination at the company.

Phone calls to Bob Ward seeking comment yesterday were not returned.

Gerald S. Kiel, regional attorney for the EEOC, said the lawsuit was filed after efforts to settle were unsuccessful.

Race discrimination cases account for about 35 percent of the claims filed with the EEOC, a federal commission that handles cases involving workplace bias.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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