7/14/2022 8:30:00 AM
[St. Paul, MN] The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) today announced a settlement agreement with Nahan, a printing company in St. Cloud, that requires the company to enforce policies that prevent racial discrimination and create a more welcoming workplace. This comes after MDHR found that Nahan violated the state’s civil rights law when it discriminated against a former employee because he is Black.
“What’s concerning here is not just that employees were using racial slurs when referring to their fellow Black colleagues and making derogatory comments about Black people, but that management knew this was occurring and did nothing to stop it,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “This case demonstrates the persistence of racial discrimination and highlights how employers must proactively and intentionally work to end discriminatory practices to create a welcoming workplace for Black Minnesotans.”
MDHR’s investigation found that from 2018 to 2019, white employees at Nahan regularly harassed a Black employee and his son, who also worked at the company, because of their race. Nahan employees made racist comments and used racial epithets when referring to Black people. One employee even refused to shake hands with the Black employee and his son because of their race.
Although the Black employees repeatedly reported these incidents to management, Nahan ignored and minimized the complaints, violating their own policy that requires the company to investigate reports of harassment. In one instance, a manager told the Black employee “Deal with it [the racial harassment] or leave.”
Ultimately, the company’s refusal to meaningfully address the racist work environment forced the Black employee and his son to quit their jobs. In 2021, MDHR found that Nahan violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which prohibits workplace racial discrimination.
MDHR will monitor the company for two years to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, submit this online form or call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state’s civil rights enforcement agency. It is tasked with enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act, one of the most comprehensive state civil rights laws in the country.