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Employees Allege Racial Discrimination at Miller Brewery

December 31, 1994 GMT

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Three former employees of Miller Brewing Co.’s plant in Fulton, N.Y., allege in a lawsuit that employees were subjected to racist name-calling and harassment.

A Miller spokesman said Friday the company had not seen the lawsuit but denied any wrongdoing.

″From the reports that we have we believe it is groundless,″ said Miller’s Michael Brophy. ″We never have and we will not tolerate racial harassment at our facilities.″

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, seeks class-action status, which would give attorneys the right to represent as many as 500 black people who have worked at the plant.

It’s the third legal action against the Milwaukee-based brewer by black employees at the Fulton plant who say they faced discrimination. The two other cases involve a former supervisor and a current supervisor.

The lawsuit says black employees were subjected to a variety of forms of racial harassment, including hearing racial slurs directed at them over a paging system and being exposed to a variety of racial epithets in plant graffiti.

It says the company took too long to start using a graffiti-resistant paint and to limit access to the plant’s public address system to prevent harassment.

Brophy said the company stood on a strong record of commitment to racial and ethnic diversity and affirmative action for minorities.

The lawsuit was filed with the assistance of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The nonprofit group represents employees on major civil rights issues.