Some companies in Massachusetts and elsewhere will try to edge out employees by slowly cutting their hours until they are reduced below a living wage. Another tactic some employers use is to make their employees' work lives so miserable that the workers leave on their own. An out-of-state man claims that he was subjected to mistreatment because of his race and filed a workplace discrimination claim in a federal court.
The plaintiff -- who happens to be black -- was hired by a catering company as a full-time prep cook in late 2014. He claims that he was the only black employee, and his supervisors made him well aware of that fact. The management staff purportedly made racist comments or jokes that were either directly aimed at the plaintiff or stated in such a way that he would overhear them.
After the plaintiff allegedly discussed the discriminatory behavior with management, he claims that things began to change -- but not for the better. Apparently his co-workers began to treat him differently, creating a hostile work environment. Additionally, his hours were suddenly and drastically reduced. The man filed for partial unemployment, but he claims the company reported he was fired and then offered him a job as a dishwasher. He claims his hours were reduced to the point that he was constructively discharged in 2015.
Charges of retaliation and workplace discrimination were filed by the plaintiff with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He is seeking monetary damages for his mistreatment as well as legal costs and damages. Furthermore, he wants the company to make a public policy that prohibits discrimination. It is unlawful for Massachusetts workers to be mistreated based on any legally protected status, and those who are aggrieved can seek justice through the civil court system.
Source: pennrecord.com, "Prep cook accuses Finley Catering of discrimination, wrongful termination", Annie Hunt, Feb. 23, 2016