SILICON VALLEY MANUFACTURER NOVELLUS TO PAY $168,000 FOR RACIAL HARASSMENT

NEW YORK - A major Silicon Valley manufacturer of semiconductor production equipment will pay $168,000 to settle a racial harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged Novellus Systems, Inc. with subjecting an African American worker to racial harassment.

According to the EEOC�s suit, Michael Cooke had to listen on a regular basis to a 27-year-old Vietnamese American co-worker playing and rapping aloud to music lyrics that included anti-black racial epithets such as the �N-word.� Although Cooke complained several times to his supervisors and made it clear that the language was offensive to him, the co-worker continued to use slang involving racial slurs and to sing along to these kinds of lyrics within Cooke�s earshot. The EEOC�s lawsuit charged that delaying effective corrective action by more than half a year constitutes unlawful harassment, and that Cooke was fired in retaliation for his earlier complaints. See, EEOC.gov

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