A longtime Minnesota roofing company is paying $71,500 to settle racial harassment and retaliation charges brought by seven black, Hispanic and American Indian employees, federal authorities announced.

Supervisors and others working for Herzog Roofing, a second-generation family business in Detroit Lakes for 54 years, subjected the seven employees to racial epithets and jokes that created a hostile work environment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said Tuesday.

The discrimination continued even after Herzog senior management was alerted, the EEOC added, and the employee who initially complained was fired for stepping forward.

Julie Schmid, acting director of the EEOC's office in Minneapolis, said that the EEOC was prepared to try to get the man's job back, but he did not want to return to work there.

Company owner Mike Herzog declined to comment.