Amazon employees in Illinois file federal lawsuit over workplace racism
On Wednesday, former Amazon employee Tori Davis and 25 other workers filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the company forced them to work in an environment dangerous, reports Chicago Grandstand. Davis has raised concerns about Amazon’s handling of a racist death threat and claims the retailer fired her after she threatened legal action if it didn’t settle the incident.
In May, workers at the company’s MDW2 warehouse in Joliet, Illinois – a town 35 miles from Chicago – found two racist messages using the N-word scrawled on the wall of one of the rooms. bathroom facilities, according to the complaint filed with the EEOC. . Davis, who is black, quit her job without pay after her colleagues discovered the graffiti. After police investigated the incident, Amazon reportedly sent a text message to staff stating that law enforcement “has not identified security threats to the site.”
According to the complaint, Amazon also allowed white MDW2 employees to wear clothing bearing the Confederate flag. One individual reportedly had a shirt where workers could see the flag “prominently” on both the back and the sleeves of the garment.
“Amazon works hard to protect our employees from all forms of discrimination and to provide an environment where employees feel safe,” an Amazon spokesperson told Engadget. “Hate or racism has no place in our society and is certainly not tolerated by Amazon.”
During a press conference, Davis said she would like to see Amazon implement additional safety policies at MDW2 and improve representation of black workers at the facility. She is also appealing her dismissal. Amazon has previously been accused of allowing racism in the workplace. Last year, an executive from the company’s AWS division said she was of a supervisor who used racial tropes. The company also has a history of firing employees who have sought to improve conditions in its workplaces.
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