Discriminating against an employee based on skin color is not only very wrong, but also illegal. Laws exist in the state of Massachusetts and at the federal level that protect employees from workplace discrimination. Despite these laws, discrimination in the workplace still happens, and can be emotionally and psychologically devastating to victims. Recently, an African-American woman in another state filed a lawsuit against a well-known grocery chain, alleging racial discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff worked as a pharmacy technician at Kroger and endured harassment and retaliation based on her skin color. It is alleged that the plaintiff was the only African-American working in her department and was forced to endure racial slurs. Other claims by the plaintiff state that she was treated with disrespect and intimidation, and also excluded from full participation in the workplace.
In one particularly disturbing incident, the plaintiff allegedly heard a pharmacist in her store use the N-word in a conversation. The lawsuit asserts that on several occasions the plaintiff was subjected to a racially hostile work environment. Despite making complaints and reporting these issues, the plaintiff alleges that nothing was done. The plaintiff seeks lost wages and damages.
Discrimination in any form is dehumanizing, morally wrong and does not belong in the workplace. Employees should only be judged on work performance, not by characteristics such as skin color or gender. Fortunately, laws exist in the state of Massachusetts and all across the country that protect employees from workplace discrimination. Any worker who feels her or she has been a victim of discrimination in the workplace can take legal action. Damages awarded from a successful lawsuit could help offset any loss of income.
Source: ajc.com, "Employee sues Kroger over alleged use of N-word, discrimination", Becca J. G. Godwin, Jan. 19, 2017