According to Insider, 3 former black employees have filed a $30 Million dollar lawsuit against Kraft Heinz.
According to the suit, they claim that other members of staff called them the N-Word, writing notes like “Quit or die N——,”.
Read below via Insider:
Other staff called them the N-word and drew Swastikas on their lockers.
When the former employees confronted management about the incidents — which they say took place between 2012 and 2018 — they were told to “keep their heads down,” the lawsuit said.
They were also retaliated against, it said.
A Kraft Heinz spokesperson told Insider that the allegations were “several years old and as soon as we were made aware, we undertook an extensive investigation, including cooperating with law enforcement, to ensure that any behavior that violated our policies, if uncovered, was put to an end.”
The company has a “zero tolerance policy for discrimination or harassment of any kind,” they said.
Sanford Heisler Sharp filed the lawsuit on behalf of former employees Alex Horn, Lance Aytman, and Keith Hooker in the Eastern District of California Thursday.
The lawsuit said that Kraft Heinz’s dairy plant in Tulare, California, was “rife with anti-Black slurs, innuendos, threats, and discrimination.”
Racist behavior continued the entire time they worked at Kraft Heinz, between 2012 and 2018, the attorneys said in a press release.
It said Swastikas were drawn on multiple Black employees’ lockers, and that non-Black employees used the N-word and racist stereotypes in conversation.
Several anonymous notes were also placed in Black employees’ lockers, including one that read “Quit or die N——,” the lawsuit says.
Kraft Heinz responded with “apathy and inaction” to the hostile work environment, the lawsuit said.
The suit also alleged that the former employees repeatedly confronted managers about both the racist incidents and denials of promotion, but that managers told them to “keep their heads down or else they could join the unemployment line.”
One manager told Horn that Kraft Heinz’s corporate office had instructed management at the dairy plant not to investigate the death threats found in lockers in case it disgruntled other employees, the lawsuit claimed.
As a result of the death threats, Hooker resigned from the company, and Horn and Aytman took medical leaves of absence, the suit says.
The lawsuit said that the plaintiffs were given “less desirable” work tasks. They were passed over for promotions as retaliation after they raised the racist incidents with management, it said.
One of the plaintiffs was “placed on less desirable nightshifts and was forced to operate defunct machines by supervisors with a history of contributing to the anti-Black work environment,” the lawsuit said.
The three former workers are seeking more than $30 million in damage between them.
The Kraft Heinz spokesperson told Insider that there had been no other allegations of racial discrimination or harassment at the Tulare plant since these incidents were reported in 2018.
“Kraft Heinz prides itself on creating diverse and inclusive workplaces, and we have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination or harassment of any kind,” the spokesperson said.
“Whenever a serious allegation such as this is made, we take immediate and swift action, including conducting a thorough investigation and implementing corrective actions if behaviors contradictory to our values are found,” they said.
The things we go through in these “no tolerance’ places of employment never cease to amaze us. SMH