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BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons here has been hit with a discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleges a "decade-long history of racial and ethnic harassment" at the retailer's Aurora, Colo. distribution center.
The suit alleges that since 1995, workers at the distribution center were subject to graffiti that included swastikas, racial slurs, and drawings of blacks and Hispanics with ropes around their necks. It also alleges that representatives of Albertsons human resources department failed to act when a black employee accused a white manager of threatening him with physical violence.
The EEOC has asked a federal judge to order Albertsons to pay the employees an amount to be determined at trial for emotional pain, suffering, and inconvenience. The number of employees who will be included in the lawsuit will be determined later, according to an EEOC attorney who spoke to local reporters.
Albertsons LLC, the group that acquired the company's Colorado operations, noted in a statement that the complaints stem from "alleged actions occurring prior to our acquisition." The company declined to comment on specific allegations, but said it "takes seriously any allegations of discrimination or harassment...and will take all proper steps, including investigation and, if appropriate, corrective and disciplinary action."