Man Files $2 Million Dollar Lawsuit For Workplace Harassment and Racial Discrimination
SCENARIO
A former Fred Meyer employee is suing the store for $2 million, alleging he was fired from the store after he complained about workplace harassment and racism.

Michael Mangum, who is black, says he started working at the Fred Meyer in North Portland in 2014. He says during his time as an employee, he experienced several incidents of harassment because of his race.

According to court documents, several comments were made to Mangum by one of his managers, including “your mom is here” whenever an African American woman would enter the store.

The manager also allegedly made comments that African American customers would “buy up all the watermelons and collard greens.”
Court documents also brought up an incident when Mangum was written up when he wore a hoodie sweatshirt to work, while other employees were not disciplined for wearing sweatshirts. When Mangum reported the situation to management, he says the discriminatory treatment and harassment did not stop.

One of Magnum’s co-workers also brought up the manager’s behavior to higher-ups on multiple occasions according to the suit, but the manager said the comments were “simply based on cultural differences.”

According to court documents, there were several forms of retaliation that followed, which included continued harassment, increased scrutiny, change in his schedule, and termination of employment in 2019.

This case is still pending litigation.

SOLUTION:
Call Alternative HRD! 
If you want to stay out of court and avoid becoming the 'next big headline' , it is time to be proactive! It's important to embrace diversity, inclusion, and respect to everyone in the workplace.

Alternative HRD can help you with training , coaching , facilitating , responding , resolving and investigating harassment and discrimination related claims.
Lip Service!
This is what your policy addressing discrimination and harassment in the workplace is, unless you do more!
What more should you do?

  • Don't just preach it, discuss it. Talk to your team about racism, sexism, ageism, etc. Talk about how your organization is doing in creating a respectful workplace. Talk about how the merits of a diverse and inclusive culture. Talk about where your organization is doing well - and falling short.

  • Don't just react, create. You may be quick to respond to problems, but you should be quicker to create the environment you want. That doesn't happen by writing a policy, but by building relationships, by communicating expectations, and by talking through differences. Change your reactive thinking to proactive doing.

  • Leadership requires that you play offense. First, lead by example - and that example needs to be a great one. Second, teach your managers to lead - not in their own direction, but in a manner that complements you. Third, give your team the knowledge and tools to keep your culture strong.
Alternative HRD's 'Respect at Work Initiative' can help you do more than just give lip service to discrimination and harassment!

This is a multi-phased approach to addressing societal and workplace issues including racism, sexism, ageism, LGBTQ and gender identity.

  • Phase 1: Respect at Work: Rank and File
  • Phase 2: Respect at Work: Leader's Edition
  • Phase 3: Respect at Work: Strategic Challenge

It's time to do more than we've done! Creating an environment of respect, inclusion and diversity takes more than a policy and occasional lip service. It is time to do more in your organization!

For details, contact us today at
605.335.8198!!
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