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SC lawsuit against Nucor Steel can proceed

  Business  -   POSTED: 2009/08/18 18:26

A federal appeals court has revived a discrimination lawsuit brought by black employees who claim they worked in a racially hostile environment at a Nucor Steel mill in South Carolina, attorneys said Tuesday.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a decision issued Aug. 7 that the case against the Charlotte-based manufacturer can go forward with class-action status. It has been sent back to federal district court and will be tried in Charleston, S.C.

"While this class certification doesn't mean they've won ... the decision is a victory," lead attorney Robert L. Wiggins Jr. said in a statement. "Being involved in this case as a plaintiff has taken courage, but these individuals believed that it was important to change the horrific situation at Nucor for all black employees, and not just themselves."

The lawsuit, originally filed in December 2003, charged that racial slurs and monkey noises were broadcast over the radio system at the company's Huger, S.C. mill. The plaintiffs — seven black former and current Nucor employees — also claim that racially charged e-mails depicting blacks with nooses around their necks were circulated, some employees used racial slurs when referring to black workers and that the mill discriminated against blacks in making promotions.


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