EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — An object that appeared to be a noose was found at an Eagle Mountain construction site that has been the target of previous racist vandalism.
The Utah County Sheriff's Office said the rope was discovered on the site of the Meta data center that is currently under construction. After the noose was found, crews were sent home for the day.
"We strongly condemn and have zero tolerance for hate, racism or bigotry in any form, and we have a clear anti-harassment, anti-discrimination policy," said a statement from Mortenson, the company overseeing construction on the site.
Work was halted at the site in November after two incidents of racism were found within weeks of each other. A racial slur was first found inside a portable bathroom, followed by additional graffiti that was discovered a week later.
At the time, Mortenson offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the people responsible for the vandalism. The company said the reward has since doubled to $100,000.
"We empathize with the many men and women working on this project whose values are not represented by what has occurred," the statement said. "Mortenson is committed to creating and upholding a culture of inclusion, fostering a diverse workforce, and to maintaining an environment where safety, dignity, and respect for everyone on our project is paramount.”
Mortenson said it is working with local law enforcement as well as a private investigator on the case.
In a statement to FOX 13 News, Meta, formerly Facebook, said the company "has zero tolerance for any racist acts" and that it is implementing measurs to prevent any addition incidents at the site.
Meta has zero tolerance for any racist acts. While this is a challenge facing the entire industry, we’re working with our general contractors to implement measures that will help prevent them at any of our construction sites. At the Eagle Mountain site, we are working closely with Mortenson and trade leaders to identify the perpetrator(s) of these acts.
We are working tirelessly with our general contractors to combat these events on our sites by:
- Developing a playbook on how to respond to these instances immediately and effectively.
- Launching a diversity and inclusion campaign on all of our U.S. data center construction sites.
- Required all data center general contractors to include the Responsible Business Alliance Code of Conduct [responsiblebusiness.org] in the Master Construction Agreement. This requires general contractors to communicate Code requirements to subcontractors and to monitor their compliance with the Code. These requirements include a workforce free of harassment and unlawful discrimination.
- Implemented a zero tolerance policy with all of our general contractors. As part of this protocol, general contractors take action when an incident is reported.
- Every new employee/worker on site receives training to address behavior expectations.
- Our general contractors have implemented anonymous reporting channels at all our construction sites.