Affordable Rent-to-Own to pay former employee $105K to settle EEOC race discrimination suit

NEW ORLEANS — Affordable Rent-to-Own LLC, which does business as Affordable Home Furnishings, has agreed to pay a former employee $105,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit said that a white account manager at Affordable Home Furnishings’ Florida Boulevard store in Baton Rouge repeatably used the N-word while working with an African American manager-in-training. When the employee reported the racial slurs to other managers, he was fired, according to the EEOC.

The EEOC said that this conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race discrimination and retaliation for complaining of discrimination. According to a three-year consent decree settling the suit, the retailer will pay the former employee $105,000 in back pay and damages and also will conduct training, revise policies, set up a complaint hotline, provide regular reports to the EEOC and post a notice affirming its obligations under Title VII.

“This resolution provides appropriate relief for the former employee and sends the message that racial harassment has no place in America,” said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office.

Peter Theis, a senior trial attorney in the EEOC’s New Orleans Field Office, added, “The use of racial slurs in the workplace is unacceptable and unlawful, and firing someone for complaining about their use only compounds the offense.”

Home News Now has reached out to the retailer for comment and is awaiting a response.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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