- THE MAGAZINE
YRC Freight, a subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc., announced that it has voluntarily settled two class action lawsuits alleging racial discrimination and harassment at its Chicago Ridge, Illinois terminal, which closed in 2009. The related lawsuits were brought by a small group of former Chicago Ridge employees and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The allegations date back to 2005, and were vigorously disputed by the company. The settlements, which require court approval, do not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company or any of its employees.
"We take any claim of harassment or discrimination very seriously," said Kelly Walls, senior vice president of Human Resources for YRC Freight. "There may be isolated instances of improper conduct in any workplace, but the allegations in these cases did not reflect the real working environment at Chicago Ridge." The company had many factual and legal defenses to the claims, including evidence refuting the most scandalous allegations. Indeed, many former employees declined to join the EEOC's lawsuit. YRC Freight, however, amicably settled the cases to bring the lawsuits to an end, and to avoid further legal fees and costs.
"We have made it clear through our Respect in the Workplace policy, training and communications that respect for fellow employees is a fundamental component of being a part of the YRC Freight team," said Walls. Walls' team of human resource professionals promotes and enforces policies related to equality, integrity, and ethics. Respect for others helps YRC Freight avoid harassment and discrimination in the workplace while the company increases its diversity.
YRC Freight actively recruits minorities, women, and veterans for management, dock professional, and driver positions. The company remains committed to the principles of respect and diversity, and, at nearly 280 locations across the United States, YRC Freight provides about 21,000 employees and their families with living wage incomes and health care benefits.