Sound Transit is investigating allegations that a contractor building a light-rail tunnel from Capitol Hill to the University of Washington has discriminated against workers on the basis of race, officials said Thursday.

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Sound Transit is investigating allegations that a contractor building a light-rail tunnel from Capitol Hill to the University of Washington has discriminated against workers on the basis of race, officials said Thursday.

CEO Joni Earl told the transit board investigators have interviewed more than 40 people and examined personnel data in a probe that has looked at possible bias by race, gender or age, and a possible hostile workplace environment. She said the investigation is “in the final stages.”

Sean Bagsby of the FAST Jobs Coalition (Fair Access to Sound Transit) said 35 workers, mostly African-American men, either were turned away or were fired by joint-venture contractor Traylor Brothers/Frontier-Kemper after they were sent to a job site by their union.

The contractor’s Seattle office referred a call for comment to their corporate headquarters in Evansville, Ind., but that office was closed.

Verlene Jones of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that group reported possible discrimination to Sound Transit after six black men complained of discriminatory practices.

Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick said the agency found “some significant concerns” in its investigation and it has asked the contractor to respond to those concerns. He said Sound Transit is taking the complaints “very seriously.”

Staff reporter Erik Lacitis contributed to this report.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com