Black UPS Workers Accuse Company of Allowing Hate at Work in Suit
Workers claim nooses were hung and that the N-word was used often.
Nineteen UPS workers are suing their employer, claiming they’ve suffered repeated racial discrimination and that the company did nothing to stop it.
Managers and supervisors enabled and even encouraged the hate directed at the black employees at a distribution center in Maumee, Ohio, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Workers claim nooses were hung above the workstation of an African-American employee, that a monkey doll dressed as a UPS employee was placed near others and the N-word was frequently used, CNN reported.
Many of the workers, who have been with the parcel company for more than 20 years, argue in the suit that the conditions inflicted “fear, anger and disgust to dismay.”
“UPS promptly investigated and took swift disciplinary action against those found to have engaged in inappropriate actions, including the discharge of two employees,” UPS Director of Corporate Media Relations Glenn Zaccara told CNN.
“The company has strict policies against harassment and discrimination,” Zaccara added. “When an incident is reported, UPS takes the matter seriously, thoroughly investigates and takes appropriate disciplinary action against those found responsible for misconduct.”
Among the incidents cited by the employees was a group text message from white coworkers about possible lottery winnings in July 2016. The thread contained “racially driven” and “offensive” messages, according to the lawsuit, including: “If you feel down and out, the noose is loose;” “Can we buy another noose with the winnings,” and “Like Clint Eastwood said, ‘Hang ’em High.’”
Lawyers say in the lawsuit the incident was reported to management, but no disciplinary measures were taken. The white coworkers maintained it was a joke, according to the lawsuit.
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