Federal agency: Black staff targets of racism at Texas plant

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2015 3:12 PM

DALLAS (AP) — Federal authorities have determined that black employees at a North Texas food plant were exposed to dangerous work conditions and subjected to racial discrimination and a hostile work environment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a letter last month found the former workers at the Sara Lee plant in Paris were exposed to asbestos, black mold and other toxins. They also were targets of racial slurs and racial graffiti.

The workers filed a lawsuit last year that's pending in federal court.

Sara Lee ended its Paris operations in 2011 and the company was absorbed by Hillshire Brands, which in turn was bought last year by Tyson Foods.

Tyson spokesman Dan Fogleman says the company thrives on diversity and doesn't tolerate the kind of discrimination found by the EEOC.