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A California-based electrical subcontractor will pay more than $1 million to eight African American former employees as part of a racial harassment lawsuit settlement.  

The suit was spearheaded by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which said Friday that San Jose-based Air Systems Inc. will pay $1,250,000 and other relief to the former workers.

According to the suit, the workers endured “racist graffiti of swastikas and racial epithets drawn on the walls of the portable toilets at the Apple Park construction project.” The site is Apple’s second campus in Cupertino, California.

There was also a “noose at the worksite hung next to a scrawled note containing other expletives, and a threat of lynching,” the suit says. 

ASI also failed to act after two African American employees reported that a white coworker taunted them with racist remarks, the suit says.

The subcontractor is part of the Fortune 500 company EMCOR Group, which provides mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure and building services for businesses. The company reported approximately $8.9 billion in revenue in 2019.  

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USA TODAY reached out to ASI for comment. In addition to the monetary settlement, the EEOC says the company will review its policies and train all employees on preventing and reporting racial harassment.

“This case should send a clear message that whether an employer is a subcontractor or the general contractor, all employers have a duty to take prompt, effective action to stop harassment and hate speech in the workplace,” said William Tamayo, the EEOC’s San Francisco district director, in a statement.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits harassment based on race and requires employers to take prompt action to investigate and stop the misconduct after they’re made aware of it. 

The EEOC kicked off the suit in 2019, alleging that Air Systems Inc. violated federal that law. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

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