Black Steelworker Awarded $25 Million After Years Of Racial Harassment

The ArcelorMittal steel plant in upstate New York closed its doors in 2009. But for one man, it remained very alive. A former employee claimed that he was a broken man after enduring three years of racist taunts inside the Buffalo-area factory's walls. Earlier this week, a federal jury unanimously awarded him a whopping $25 million as a result.

Elijah Turley testified during the three-week trial that his bosses sat by while his co-workers harassed him, writing "KKK" and "King Kong Lives" on the walls, playing howling animal noises over the loudspeaker, hanging a stuffed monkey with a noose around its neck from his car, and even threatening his life, according to Turley's lawyer Ryan Mills.

ArcelorMittal said that Turley's account was mostly accurate, but likened the verbal harassment to regular old "trash-talking," and claimed that its executives went to great lengths to stop it, even suspending the guilty employees. Mills said the evidence unequivocally showed "a work environment that went beyond harassment."

"This case is about the breakdown of a man," the Buffalo News reported Mills as telling the jury. "He wanted to be treated equally, treated equally in a culture that hadn't changed since the '50s."

As AOL Jobs reported earlier this week, cases of racial harassment in the workplace have been on the rise over the last three decades, as have incidents involving nooses. In the last few years, some of these cases have led to hefty payouts, though this award of $25 million may be the largest for a case of racial harassment at work that involves a noose.

In 2008, a construction company in Pennsylvania paid out $1.65 million to workers, after a period of racial harassment, including a noose made of heavy rope that was allegedly hung in a black worker's area for 10 days. In 2010, a judge awarded black dockworkers in Chicago $10 million for having endured discriminatory treatment, racist graffiti and multiple noose displays.

ArcelorMittal, whose chairman, Lakshmi Mittal, is Britain's richest man with a net worth of $20.7 billion, said in a statement Wednesday that it may consider an appeal, reports the Buffalo News, and that the verdict exceeds what is usually acceptable under federal and state laws.



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N68Firebird

New York is a Union state, correct? Why didn't he report it to the Union? What about the EEOC (oh, that's right, I forgot, that bunch is next to useless).

Another question: does anyone know of any white person who has ever successfully won a discrimination suit? Now THAT would be interesting - because I doubt it has ever happened, even though white people are discriminated against by racist minorities.

June 15 2012 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to N68Firebird's comment
Hello Jay

yea stupid white are discrimnated against all the time and have multiple lawsuits. you dont even know the facts of the case and you make blanket statements. country's falling apart because of idiots like you.

June 15 2012 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danno

New York liberal federal judge nothing more to say..

June 15 2012 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danno

He is and was of course a liar..but he does no how to play that racist game to reap big rewards no doubt.. and close yet another manufacturing facility for his little personal black you owe me greed trip.. no way any business cn afford to stay in business fighting these bogus racist fake suits.....

June 15 2012 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to danno's comment
gp341

Good. That's sending an excellent message.

June 15 2012 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stonewt

I could see high six-figures, possibly low single-digit millions, if multiple psychologists verify that he is emotionally/mentally traumatized. If he just had his feelings hurt, 5-figures or low 6 would be sufficient. $25 million is just racist non-whites and guilty whites wanting to punish/apologize for all white racism going back decades/centuries. That kind of dough is silly when he suffered no physical harm and no loss of deserved job benefits.

June 15 2012 at 10:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rkeeeballs

Go ahead and harass me for 3 years ! $25 million....wtf ?....you could beat me up every day for that much !

June 15 2012 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rkeeeballs's comment
wmichalek

Talks cheap-I really doubt that you would last a week.

June 15 2012 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
posthuf

Sounds to me like the workers who were suspended for harassing the dude should rightly be the ones paying any fine, not the company. They did take steps to put a stop to it, but they are limited by union rules. In some cases the a.hole doing the harassing actually gets a paid time off when he is under suspension - a paid vacation that doesn't use accrued vacation time.

June 15 2012 at 10:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to posthuf's comment
junior

Should be the UNION that pays it, they are the ones that protected the workers.

June 15 2012 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
janka51

this is stupid , I wouldn't pay him a dime.

June 15 2012 at 9:47 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
goodlucktu

I thought this type of hatred has been around for a while.. his statement say's Equality in society hasn't changed since the "50's..? Oh well this should fuel the equality problem for another 100+ years..

June 15 2012 at 9:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
brennemanbelkin

Where I work, it isn't the workers but the manager who is demonstrably racist.
It's only a matter of time.

June 15 2012 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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