On Dec. 10, a federal jury in Detroit will begin hearing arguments related to a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed against the City of Warren. The plaintiff, who is a firefighter of Cuban descent, had filed a lawsuit earlier this year accusing his co-workers and supervisors of using racial slurs while interacting with him.
In the firefighter’s suit, he chronicled how he routinely heard his co-workers use the terms “spooks” and “chimps” to describe his African-American colleagues. He also claimed that one of his own lieutenants had once shared with him that “Cubans were just like (n-word)”.
The filing also captures how the plaintiff reportedly attempted to report the discriminatory language to his superiors, but that they called him both a “snitch” and “traitor” for doing so.
As for the City of Warren’s current mayor, he’s previously issued a statement calling the former firefighter’s racial discrimination claims “utterly ridiculous”. He notes that it wouldn’t make any sense that his African-American Fire Commissioner would allow anyone in the workplace to be discriminated against.
The city’s attorney, who also happens to be African-American, has also discounted the former firefighter’s claims as “garbage and hogwash”. He cites how his filing didn’t even mention anything racial as the reason for suggesting that his claim is without merit.
City of Warren representatives call the former worker’s case nothing more than a “nuisance”. They will meet with the plaintiff in the next few days to try to broker a settlement in this matter.
Both federal and state laws exist that prevent employees from being discriminated against or fired on the basis of sex, race, pregnancy, religion, age and other protected classes. Employers who violate these laws may be ordered to give a worker their job back or to pay them lost compensation. A Detroit workplace discrimination attorney can advise you of what your rights are if you’ve been treated wrongfully or unfairly at work.