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Tualatin company settles in discrimination lawsuit

TUALATIN - A Tualatin company sued for racial discrimination has reached an agreement, the Oregon Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.

The Department of Justice filed an unlawful employment practices complaint against steel galvanizing plant Valmont Industries and temp-agency Barrett Business Services after they failed to investigate serious discriminatory actions at the company, including an incident where a noose was hung above an African American employees work station.

Xavier Perry reported workplace discrimination but the companies never investigated, according to Tony Green, a spokesman for the Oregon Attorney General's Office.

According to Green, Perry reported that a co-worker had pushed him and made other discriminatory actions against him, which Perry believed was because of his race and national origin.

In his complaint Perry asked to be moved to another workstation, which management denied, Green said.

The harassment got worse after Perry complained, and a noose was hung above his workstation until a Barrett Business Services manager took it down, Green said.

After the noose incident Perry did not return to work, Green said, and employers did not contact Perry to investigate or ask him to return to work.

'No one should have to be subjected to workplace discrimination, and particularly under conditions that gave rise to these complaints,' said Oregon Attorney General John Kroger in a statement,

In the agreement announced Wednesday, Green said the two companies resolved that they failed to take immediate and appropriate investigative and remedial action in response to Perry's complains and that Perry would receive a full-time, permanent position with Valmont Industries, a point-person to report workplace discrimination to and anti-retaliation protections and an undisclosed amount in monetary damages.

Employees at both companies will also take anti-discrimination training and provide Perry with a positive reference letter.