The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has launched legal proceedings against TNT Crane & Rigging, a significant crane supplier in North America. The suit alleges racial discrimination against four Black workers: Edwin Crayton, Lorenzo Smith, Freddie Campbell, and Jason Pradia.
According to documents, the company created a workplace where racially charged comments, including using the N-word, were prevalent. Symbols associated with racial hatred, such as nooses and lightning bolt stickers, were prominently displayed without repercussions.
In a 2018 incident, Smith, a crane operator, faced racial epithets when requesting assistance at the Fort Worth location despite his base being in Frisco, Texas. The lawsuit recounts the field manager’s alleged response: “If you have issues with the task, you might as well leave,” but in more derogatory terms. Smith’s effort to report the incident didn’t yield a satisfactory outcome. Similarly, Crayton experienced racial hostility in his role as a crane operator.
While working as a truck driver, Campbell allegedly overheard racial slurs and discovered a colleague had referred to him in derogatory terms. When Campbell tried to report, he received assurances the issue would be addressed, but it wasn’t.
Pradia, who joined as a rigger in 2019, was reportedly told by a white coworker that while many Black individuals were perceived as “lazy,” he was different and commendable.
A white worker, Nathan Cook, was allegedly mistreated after exposing the racially biased environment. Cook claims he experienced physical aggression and was derogatorily labeled by colleagues. His hours and remuneration were cut after his complaints, eventually pushing him to resign.
EEOC lawyer Brian Hawthorne commented in a press release, “TNT consciously allowed a work setting filled with racially prejudiced remarks and visuals. Every employee has the right to a workplace that respects their racial identity and shouldn’t face retaliation for challenging discriminatory actions.”
The EEOC is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the affected Black employees, while Cook may receive back pay, future pay, or even reinstated.