Skip to content
NO FEE UNLESS YOU WIN

African American factory worker sues employer over KKK hood incident

An African American factory worker sued his former employer for racial discrimination after claiming he was fired in retaliation for reporting an allegedly racist workplace incident.

Isiah Washington, 27, said coworkers targeted him by hanging a Ku Klux Klan “hood” directly above his workstation in April 2015. According to the lawsuit, “The plastic sheet was white in color and it clearly had eyehole cuts to make it appear as a Ku Klux Klan hood, known worldwide as a symbol of racial hatred and terror against African Americans.” Washington filed the lawsuit against his Riverside, California-based employer Sierra Aluminum Company in Riverside Superior Court.

The former packer complained to his supervisor and requested him to take down the KKK symbol, according to the lawsuit. However, the supervisor allegedly called him a “puto” — a derogatory term for “homosexual” in Spanish. He and other workers began laughing at Washington while the sheet remained above his workstation for another hour.

When Washington reported the incident to the company’s human resources department, the complaint was ignored and he was told a gust of wind blew the sheet in. The lawsuit claimed Washington suffered “severe emotional distress, anxiety and fear” as a result. He was also subjected to daily derogatory comments from his coworkers.

A few months later Washington accidentally cut his thumb while moving aluminum. Although the packer claimed he was fine, the next day his supervisor insisted someone drive him to the company doctor. When Washington refused and suggested he could drive himself, he was told that he could no longer see the doctor.

Washington then decided to visit the doctor on his own and was cleared to work. However, the following day he was fired for “not following company policy.” He claimed the company used the incident as an excuse to terminate him in retaliation for reporting the KKK hood incident.

[footer block_id=’778′]

Read more

wage and hour violation lawyer

Virgin America flight attendants get $78 million in wage and hour lawsuit

All employers are legally responsible for making sure their employees are paid the wages they are owed. Unfortunately, wage and hour violations can occur at small companies and large corporations alike. A…

READ ARTICLE
class action lawyer

Disclaimer: Macy’s class action lawsuit

Please note McCormack & Erlich is not handling this class action lawsuit. This blog post is simply reporting the case.

READ ARTICLE
workplace sexual harassment lawyer

California agencies aim to meet sexual harassment training deadline

All employees have the right to a workplace that is free from sexual harassment. There are numerous things employers can do to tackle sexual harassment at work, such as having a system…

READ ARTICLE
employment lawyer

More training and safety needed for California wildfire prevention workers

California struggled with devastating wildfires in 2018. The state now faces the daunting task of figuring out how to manage its forests so that such large-scale disasters do not occur again in…

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10