(AP) A Denver newspaper has agreed to pay $375,000 to settle allegations that 10 black employees were racially harassed by a co-worker between 1999 and 2000, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Tuesday.
The government agency sued the Rocky Mountain News on behalf of the employees, who said they suffered frequent racial epithets and slurs from a white co-worker in a printing press facility, often in the presence of unresponsive management.
The settlement made clear the newspaper denied any wrongdoing, said John Temple, the News’ editor, publisher, and president. “It was never demonstrated that a racially hostile environment existed in the printing facility,” he said in a statement.
The lawsuit was originally filed against the newspaper and the Denver Newspaper Agency on behalf of former pressman Abdur-Rahim Ali, who was fired in 2000. Nine other current and former pressroom employees later joined the complaint, EEOC attorney Joseph Mitchell said.
The settlement requires the News to review its policies to ensure compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws and to make sure an effective procedure is in place for employee complaints, the EEOC said.