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Michigan trucking workers ‘had to use segregated bathrooms’: suit

Nine former employees of a Michigan trucking company claim they were forced to use minority-only bathrooms even as they were subjected to racist taunts and harassment — including finding the letters “KKK” scrawled on a door and slurs such as the N-word, “beaners,” and “porch monkeys,” according to a federal lawsuit.

Workers at the Lake Orion, Mich.-based Environmental Wood Solutions claimed in a lawsuit filed in the US Eastern District of Michigan that they were forced to use segregated bathrooms.

One of the plaintiffs, Darryl Morgan, a 57-year-old black man from Fraser, Mich., said he was paid less to drive trucks than his white counterparts.

Workers at the Lake Orion-based Environmental Wood Solutions claimed in a federal lawsuit filed in Michigan that they were forced to use segregated bathrooms. Environmental Wood Solutions

Morgan alleged in court documents that he was subjected to racial harassment including “frequent and open use of the” N-word as well as being referred to as a “forest monkey.”

According to the court documents, Morgan observed a note left on the communal microwave by a white colleague which read “[N-words] will be [N-words].”

Another plaintiff, Chicquita Gillette, 48, of Harper Woods, Mich., is the widow of Jesus Gillette, who died last summer of a massive heart attack, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Chicquita Gillette alleged that her late husband was subjected to “racial harassment” and “disparate pay.”

She told the Free Press that her husband walked into an upper-management meeting where he heard racial slurs.

“Somebody called him (the N-word),” she said. “They had words.”

Darryl Morgan, a 57-year-old black man from Fraser, Mich., said he was paid less to drive trucks than his white counterparts. David Rodriguez Munoz / USA TODAY NETWORK

Another former employee, Luis Quiroz-Gonzalez, said that he was called a “beaner” on the first day of employment at EWS in December 2022.

“I was called a beaner, a spic over the radio. It just never stopped,” Gonzalez told the Free Press.

Gonzalez alleged that he made less money than this white counterparts and that he was frequently referred to as a “tamale,” “redneck” and “wetback” in conversations over the company’s radio systems.

The lawsuit alleged that when he complained about the harassment, he was let go in retaliation.

Luis Quiroz-Gonzalez, said that he was called a “beaner” on the first day of employment at EWS in Dec. 2022. David Rodriguez Munoz / USA TODAY NETWORK

A spokesperson for the company denied the allegations.

“At Environmental Wood Solution, we remain disappointed by the baseless allegations of a few former employees and will rigorously defend ourselves against these claims,” the company told The Post.

EWS said it “adheres to federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws” and “strictly prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment.”

“Our commitment to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace is unwavering and ensures all team members are treated with dignity and respect,” the company spokesperson told The Post.

The spokesperson added that the firm “take[s] all allegations of discrimination and harassment seriously and [has] comprehensive reporting and investigative procedures to address them properly.”



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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