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Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America has agreed to pay more than $1 million to minority workers who sued the automaker for racial discrimination under a settlement approved Thursday. The agreement includes payments totaling $1.4 million to 10 workers who alleged in a January 2000 lawsuit that supervisors at Mitsubishi’s plant denied blacks promotions and transfers, and ignored racial incidents in the workplace, such as the use of slurs, graffiti with the letters “KKK” and, in once instance, the hanging of a noose in a break area. The settlement also allows for other black and Hispanic workers covered in the class-action lawsuit to apply for compensation in amounts to be determined on an individual basis. Mitsubishi also must provide for a pair of independent monitors who will work with the Normal, Ill.-based manufacturer to ensure equal opportunity for all employees and compliance with a zero tolerance harassment policy. The company also agreed to pay $1.8 million in attorneys’ fees and court costs. Rich Gilligan, the company’s executive vice president and CEO, said the settlement shows the company is dedicated to fixing past problems and avoiding them in the future. “Working together in a fair and dignified workplace is important for both the company and its employees,” Gilligan said. “Now that this case is settled, we can move forward as a team to accomplish our goals and objectives.” This is the company’s second settlement with employees who said they were victims of discrimination. A 1996 sexual harassment lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 300 female workers was ultimately settled for more than $34 million. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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