The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit this week against Taylor Shellfish alleging discrimination against a former employee because of his race. The Olympian Newspaper reports the suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on behalf of Jeremy Daniels, a former employee at the Shelton-based company’s Samish Bay farm in Skagit County.
The lawsuit alleges that a supervisor called Daniels the N-word, a “spook” and “boy” on numerous occassions and when Daniels complained, the company failed to stop the behavior and his assigned work became more difficult.
Taylor Shellfish released a statement Thursday denying that the company was involved in illegal discrimination or retaliation:
“Taylor Shellfish Farms is an equal opportunity employer and proud to have a diverse workforce. Fairness in the workplace is very important to us, and as such, we take discrimination allegations very seriously.
“EEOC complaints are a process and we’ve been engaged in this matter in good faith. While we are disappointed by the filing of the suit, we will continue in good faith to address this complaint through the courts and remain committed to providing our employees with a workplace free of discrimination.”
The EEOC is asking that Daniels be awarded back pay and damages (amount to be determined at trial), and that Taylor Shellfish be ordered to institute equal employment opportunities practices.