UPS must pay $5.3M in Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit
- posted: Nov. 27, 2020
- Employment Law,  Employment Retaliation,  Employee Rights,  Racial Discrimination
Several Black Men sued UPS for Hostile Work Environment Exposure
A total of 8 black UPS employees filed a race discrimination lawsuit in 2014 in Fayette Circuit Court against UPS located in Lexington, Kentucky. The plaintiffs named in this race discrimination lawsuit include William Barber, Lamont Brown, Jeffrey Goree, John Hughes, Glenn Jackson, Donald Ragland, Curtis Weathers, and David Young. The employees allege severe and pervasive harassment and discrimination led to a hostile work environment.
During the trial, the plaintiffs gave their testimonies and provided evidence to support their claims. The evidence disclosed that a UPS manager hung a black UPS dummy from the ceiling. The UPS dummy was dangling from the ceiling by a string tied around his neck for approximately four days. UPS alleged the string was attached to the dummy’s neck and the ceiling to avoid it from falling.
Barber described his reaction to seeing the UPS Dummy by saying, “it wasn’t a good feeling.” The employee argued that he wore the same brown suit and hat the dummy wore, and as a black man, he even had a brown face like the dummy. Arriving to an early morning shift and viewing the dummy was hurtful to Barber, according to the lawsuit.
Barber added that his white friends came to console him. Although they’re not responsible for the dummy, they understand how difficult it must be for a black man to see a breathless puppet version of himself hanging from the ceiling.
The race discrimination lawyer representing the plaintiffs revealed that his clients experienced “hostile words” regarding race. Some of the racial remarks included the “N-word,” “jungle bunny,” and “porch monkey.” The men also alleged “enduring severe and pervasive comments, intimidation, ridicule and insults” at work.
As a result of the race discrimination at work, the employees informed Human Resources about their work related issue. Unfortunately, the gentleman said they experienced retaliation during their shifts as oppose to assistance with their problem. Under circumstances resembling the ones the plaintiffs in this race discrimination are in, seek an employment lawyer at Akin Law Group, PLLC.
Jury favors Plaintiffs in Race Discrimination Lawsuit
After long hours of deliberation, the Fayette Circuit Court jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The jury concluded that UPS subjected the employees to severe and pervasive racial harassment and discriminated against one of the employees. In addition, USP was found guilty of retaliating against Jackson and Ragland for making racial complaints not the remaining six employees. The jury also determined that Barber was treated differently than his co-workers of another race in similar positions. After all the workplace misconduct had been thoroughly scrutinized, the jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $5.3 million in damages for “mental and emotional distress.” According to the race discrimination lawyer, this was one of the largest payouts in Fayette County. The majority of the plaintiffs are still employed at UPS. They’re hoping that the outcome of this race discrimination lawsuit instills a path of change into the workplace. According to a corporate UPS representative, the company plans to appeal the case. UPS claims they uphold strict polices against harassment and discrimination, however, those polices were not present during the race discrimination incidents.
Contact an Employment Lawyer at Akin Law Group
If you have experience race discrimination at work in New York City or New Jersey, contact an experienced employment lawyer at Akin Law Group, PLLC to defend your rights against unlawful conduct in the workplace. Call 212-825-1400 for a free consultation regarding your race discrimination case.