What’s scarier, these discrimination claims or the number of zeros in the award?
California-based trucking outfit Matheson Trucking and Matheson Flight Extenders Inc. is paying dearly for racial discrimination claims levied against the company by seven former employees.
A lawsuit filed by the men — six of whom are black — claims Matheson let some pretty horrific stuff go on in its warehouse, according to a report by The Denver Post.
Some of the lawsuit’s claims, according to The Post:
- White workers called black workers “lazy stupid Africans.”
- White employees and black employees worked on separate sides of the warehouse.
- White supervisors and workers often used the N-word around black workers.
- In one instance, a white worker yelled that all blacks should be shot (and that worker was later promoted).
- Calling a white worker, the seventh plaintiff, who stood up for his black co-workers, “the tribe’s assistant.”
- That same white worker was fired after he challenged the company’s racist practices.
- Black workers were passed over for desirable, double-pay holiday shifts, which were given to white workers with less seniority.
The lawsuit went on to say that the plaintiffs were discriminated against in all phases of employment — including hiring, promotion, vacation pay, discipline, wages, benefits and much more.
A federal jury awarded them nearly $15 million, and here’s how that broke down, according to The Post:
- $14 million in punitive damages
- $650,000 in emotional distress, and
- $318,000 in back pay.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough for the employer, it’s likely on the hook for the plaintiff’s attorney fees, too.