DENVER - The Albertson’s LLC grocery chain will pay $8.9 million to 168 black and Hispanic workers who said they were subjected to racial taunts and a graffiti-laced restroom depicting lynchings and swastikas, federal officials said yesterday.
The money is part of a settlement agreement between Albertson’s and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which represented the workers in three lawsuits involving the company’s distribution center in Denver.
“Settlements this size don’t come down the pipe everyday,’’ said Andrew Winston, the EEOC attorney who handled the cases.
The settlement will be distributed among 168 former and current employees, the EEOC said. Individual payments will range from $4,500 to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on factors such as number of years worked and severity of harassment, said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional EEOC attorney.
The agency said black and Hispanic workers were repeatedly the targets of racial slurs. The graffiti in the restroom also included white supremacist and anti-immigrant statements.
The graffiti “was so offensive that several employees would relieve themselves outside the building or go home at lunchtime rather than use the restroom,’’ EEOC attorneys said.