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Ex-worker: employer ignored her allegations of racial harassment

by | Jul 7, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

You think that by now companies would have a firmer understanding of how to deal with and stamp out racial discrimination in the workplace. However, some companies seem to struggle in the ways to confront this issue, create policies that address it as well as punish racist employees.

One of the latest examples centers on the treatment of a former employee of a Michigan steel manufacturer. In a civil lawsuit filed in early June, the woman alleges that Shunli Steel USA discriminated against her, ignored her complaints and violated her civil rights by failing to act after coworkers drew a swastika and a monkey by her work station, constantly called her the N-word and even left a note that contained racial slurs on her car.

Overlooked for promotions based on race, gender

Alicia Harrell claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment at Shunli Steel where she worked for a year during parts of 2019 to 2020 in southeastern Michigan.

Harrell claims that throughout her tenure at the company, she was called the N-word by coworkers who also dubbed her as “the maid.” In addition, she alleges that her employer overlooked her for promotions based on her race and gender.

According to the lawsuit, Harrell complained to her supervisors. However, they informed her that it would not take “corrective action” based on her allegations, further adding that management did not consider her treatment as racism.

The company’s attorney said Shunli Steel did not discriminate against the employee and swiftly investigated her allegations, following through with proper procedure when learning of her complaints.

When she realized management would not protect her and that the racial discrimination would continue, she left the company.

Workers must stand up for themselves if their employer does not protect them in such situations. Taking legal action is, sometimes, the only option when employers let down their workers and fail to take action to address racial discrimination in the workplace.


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