Falcon Foundry Resolves Racial Harrassment Claims

LOWELLVILLE, Ohio — Falcon Foundry Co. has agreed to resolve a racial harassment class case filed by the Youngstown Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Tuesday.

According to the EEOC, the foundry’s leadership subjected employees to discrimination and harrassment, including allowing a noose to hang in the plant.

“Finally, justice is served, said George Freeman Jr., president of the NAACP Youngstown/Mahoning County Branch, in a statement. “We have been at this for more than 365 days. We are happy that the resolution will ensure that discrimination in the workplace will cease and employees affected will be compensated if harmed.”

To settle the matter, all three parties – the EEOC, the NAACP and Falcon Foundry — signed a conciliation agreement arranged by the EEOC.

According to the multi-year agreement, Falcon Foundry will provide substantial monetary relief to identified victims. The company will hold managers and supervisors accountable for immediately addressing discrimination in the workplace and provide ongoing training to all employees, the EEOC said. Company policies and procedures for dealing with discrimination will be revised and the company will report to the EEOC for the agreement’s term.

Falcon Foundry was incorporated in 1953, and is an offshoot of the Falcon Bronze Co. in Youngstown, the company’s website states. Falcon Foundry’s castings are used in the smelting, iron making, electric steel making, and other heavy industries worldwide.

The NAACP filed a charge with the EEOC on behalf of some employees.  The resulting investigation revealed that one of Falcon Foundry Co.’s top officials subjected employees to derogatory racial comments and that there was a noose hanging in the facility.

The EEOC also found that minority employees were disciplined for violating company policies while white employees who violated the same policies were not disciplined. A class of individuals were harassed and discriminated against because of their race, black; their national origin, Hispanic; or their association with a black or Hispanic employee, the agency said, which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Falcon Foundry Co. conducted an internal investigation, trained its employees, and terminated the company official to address the claims filed against it, the EEOC said in announcing resolution of the dispute.

“All employees have the right to work in an environment free of harassment and discrimination, and the EEOC is very pleased that Falcon Foundry Co. worked with it to resolve this matter,” said Jamie R. Williamson, director of the EEOC Philadelphia District .

The EEOC’s Cleveland Field Office is one of four offices in the agency’s Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.