YRC Freight, a subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc., has voluntarily settled two class action lawsuits alleging racial discrimination and harassment at its Chicago Ridge, Ill., terminal, which closed in 2009.

The related lawsuits were brought by a small group of former Chicago Ridge employees and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The allegations date back to 2005. The company says it settled to avoid further legal fees and costs.

According to the EEOC's complaint, black employees at the facility were subjected to hangman's nooses, racist graffiti and racist comments. In addition, the complaints said black employees experienced harsher discipline and scrutiny than their white counterparts, and that YRC gave more difficult and time-consuming work assignments to black employees than white employees

"We take any claim of harassment or discrimination very seriously," says Kelly Walls, senior vice president of Human Resources for YRC Freight. "There may be isolated instances of improper conduct in any workplace, but the allegations in these cases did not reflect the real working environment at Chicago Ridge. We have made it clear through our Respect in the Workplace policy, training and communications that respect for fellow employees is a fundamental component of being a part of the YRC Freight team."

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12/15/2009 EEOC Sues YRC Over Discrimination at Chicago Ridge