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Employee Lawsuit Claims UPS Fostered Racist, Hostile Workplace

Plaintiffs say the discrimination "permeated employment decisions," including pay.
Plaintiffs say the discrimination "permeated employment decisions," including pay.
Credit Steve Helber / Associated Press

Nineteen employees at a UPS facility in Ohio are suing the Atlanta-based parcel company. They claim racism and discrimination were accepted company norms.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Toledo, alleges UPS not only tolerated a culture of racism, but “purposefully promoted” it.

The 46-page complaint, published online by the Toledo Blade, outlines years of specific examples. One, in 2016, involved a white employee who allegedly “fashioned two hangman’s nooses and hung them over the work station of an African-American employee,” the lawsuit read.

The document also outlines how employees freely used derogatory racial epitaphs.

UPS fired those responsible, according to a company spokesman. But plaintiffs say the company continued to employ the worker’s supervisor, who allegedly also engaged in racist activities.

Plaintiffs say the discrimination “permeated employment decisions,” including pay.

In a statement, UPS said the company “has strict policies against harassment and discrimination. Diversity and inclusion are core values at UPS.”

Plaintiffs have asked for unspecified damages “in an amount sufficient to deter future unlawful conduct.”