The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, charged U-Haul retaliated against a veteran African-American employee after he complained of discrimination when he was denied a promotion.
Gary Townes had worked at U-Haul facilities in Forest Park and Crystal Lake, Ill., for 11 years.
He was demoted when he complained about a white employee being named shop foreman when he had been promised the job. He was fired a week after he complained a second time alleging racial discrimination, the suit said.
"It appears that in this case U-Haul made the mistake of dealing with a complaint of discrimination by putting the complaining employee on the street," said John Hendrickson, regional attorney for EEOC in Chicago.