Employee Accuses Boss for Dressing Like President Trump and Harassing Her
The employee of a construction company in Pleasanton has filed an employment lawsuit alleging racial discrimination and harassment. According to a KRON news report, the lawsuit, filed by Tishay Wright, an African-American woman, accuses owners of Southland Construction Management Inc. of dressing like President Donald Trump and displaying Confederate flags around the office. Wright, a former employee, claims in her lawsuit that the business’s owners made “unwanted racial comments” and treated her unfairly because of her race and gender.
Wright alleges that the company’s CEO and his wife impersonated Trump and decorated the office with photos of the Confederate flags stating “The Southland Shall Rise Again.” The couple also took pictures in front of the flag with the husband dressed as Trump and the wife appearing to be a supporter of the president. Wright also said her boss gave her a purse with the Confederate flag on it as a Christmas gift with those photos of him and his wife. In a press release, Wright said that she is suing because “no one should be treated this way in America in the year 2017.”
Understanding Racial Discrimination
Discrimination based on race involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he or she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics (hair, skin, facial features) associated with race. Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to or associated with a person of a certain race or color. Racial discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color.
It is against state and federal laws to harass a person because of his or her race or color. Racial harassment can include, for example, racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s race or color, or the display of racially offensive symbols. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when “it is so frequent or severe” that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision such as the victim being fired or demoted.
What Can Employees Do?
If you are being racially or otherwise discriminated against, here are a few steps you can take:
- Let your employer know that you feel you are being harassed or discriminated against. Let them know you are taking the matter seriously.
- If you get no response, consider filing a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for overseeing compliance of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.
- Keep a diary of incidents including the date, time, location, parties involved, witnesses and incident details.
- Save all objects and pictures (including emails) that were given to you in the workplace that were discriminatory or harassing.
- Be aware of your company’s anti-discrimination policy. Review federal and state laws to better understand your rights.
Contact an experienced California employment lawyer who will help fight for your rights and help you receive fair compensation for your losses including lost wages and emotional distress.