Illegal discrimination and harassment can happen at any company, even in today’s workplace. And, while this may be surprising, it is the truth. It is also apparently the case on the construction site within the Microsoft campus.
A Black construction worker has alleged they faced racially based harassment on Microsoft’s Redmond campus for months. The Skanska Balfour Beatty construction laborer was working on a parking garage. During these endeavors, he claims that several co-workers made multiple racially charged comments, and he made several complaints about these incidents. But, his supervisors removed him, instead of the offenders.
He is fighting back
The construction laborer did not let it go. Instead, he retained an attorney and filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They noted that, of the 110 union workers on this project, he was the only Black man. In his EEOC filing, he specified the incidents, including racially charged comments by his supervisor and threats of being laid-off, simply because he is black. As these and other racist behaviors dragged on for months, it began to take a personal toll on his personal life.
Hostile work environment
What this worker described is textbook illegal hostile work environment harassment because the racist conduct was severe and pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive. This is why this man wants to tell his story. Even though the company eventually put him in a safe situation, it took them months, and to his knowledge, the behavior was not reprimanded, but encouraged, by still-employed supervisors and co-workers.
Apparently, this man was not alone. Since filing his EEOC complaint, several other current and former employees of this company are speaking out. And, at least one has also filed an EEOC complaint. This is not surprising. As our Pasadena, California, residents know, where one worker experiences a hostile work environment, usually, there are many more. But, a key takeaway is that it is illegal, and there is, in fact, an entire federal agency (the EEOC) dedicated to fighting illegal workplace discrimination.