The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has reached a settlement with a St. Cloud company that failed to address racial harassment in the workplace.
The state said Nahan, a printing company, knew white employees regularly harassed a Black employee with racist comments and racial epithets, but "refused to address the racist work environment."
The state investigation found Nahan had violated the state's civil rights law.
Under the settlement agreement announced Thursday, the company will be monitored by MDHR for two years to ensure compliance with a requirement to enforce polities that prevent racial discrimination and create a more welcoming workplace.
According to a summary of MDHR's investigation findings, white employees regularly harassed a Black employee and his son, who also worked at the company, because of their race from 2018 to 2019.
Investigators found that as well as the employees making racist comments, one worker refused to shake hands with the Black employee and his son because of their race.
MDHR said Black employees repeatedly reported these incidents, but Nahan management 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,'" the state reported.
The Black employee and his son quit their jobs due to the company's refusal to meaningfully address the abuse they were getting.
Last year, MDHR determined Nahan had violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
“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," Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero stated.