EEOC sues Aqua America for racial discrimination

Nicholas DeBenedictis is the chairman of Aqua American.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Aqua America Inc. in federal court Sept. 29, saying that the Bryn Mawr-based water treatment company discriminated against African Americans at its Bear, Del. facility, including African American employee, Henry Blue. Blue worked at Aqua’s plant as an operator and foreman from January 2015 through May 2016 when he was terminated after complaining about supervisors, the suit said.

Blue said in the suit that Aqua’s supervisors used racial slurs when referring to him and other African American employees. Blue and the other African American employees complained, but the behavior didn’t stop, according to the suit filed in Philadelphia. The suit asks Aqua to institute and enforce better practices, and to compensate the workers. The suit does not say how many employees were involved.

“We are completely disheartened by these allegations, which concern a previous subsidiary,” the company said in a statement. “The actions described in this lawsuit run completely counter to everything Aqua stands for as a company.”