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Federal Judge Faults Discount Store For Latino-On-Black Discrimination

In a rare federal case of minority-on-minority discrimination, a U.S. district court judge on Thursday approved a consent decree involving Big Lots discount stores in which Latino workers were found to have discriminated against and harassed some African-American employees.

The decree -- which Big Lots agreed to -- provides $400,000 for five employees at the center of a lawsuit and an unidentified group of suit class members, and it requires the stores to monitor, address and train about racial harassment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against the company in 2008 on behalf of a black mechanic and other African-American workers at the Big Lots distribution center in Rancho Cucamonga.

The suit alleged that Latino workers, including a supervisor, hurdled racial epithets at the black workers, and that the company did nothing to stop the behavior. The consent decree settles the suit.

Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, said the African-American workers "should not have had to endure harassment or discrimination based on their race.''

-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us

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