A group of current and former Black Boeing employees have filed a lawsuit against the company for racial and gender discrimination. The eight men and women filed the suit in El Segundo, California May 10. It states they were hired into lower-level positions, lost promotions and not allowed to attend launch campaigns due to favoring white workers.
According to The Los Angeles Daily News, five of the employees are men and three are women. The latter group is suing both for racial discrimination and a hostile work environment because of their gender.
The group’s attorney, Steven Haney, issued a statement on their behalf.
“Unfortunately, Boeing over the years has a well-established pattern of creating a corporate culture (in) which its employees of African-American descent and females are subject to disparate treatment, harassment, public embarrassment and ridicule by upper managers and colleagues.
“All of our plaintiffs have suffered adverse employment actions, including discriminatory discipline, failure to promote, being hired into lower-tiered jobs than comparably qualified white candidates, a systematic failure to receive preferred job assignments that are necessary for promotion.
“In the lawsuit we have filed, there are numerous instances of upper-level Boeing management personnel favoring their Caucasian friends and relatives against the interest of African-American employees who had at least equal or superior job experience, education and qualifications. This conduct not only smacks of nepotism, but also constitutes violations of fair employment within the state of California.”
The current and former employees filed suit against the aircraft manufacturing company and its divisions. They are seeking an unspecified amount of damages for discrimination and harassment based on race and gender. The activities are unlawful under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Two of the plaintiffs cite an “old boys network” as the reason for their unjust treatment. Myron Addison is currently employed and says a non-Black technician he trained got a promotion over him. Former employee Benjamin Garrett was passed over for a managerial position that went to a white employee with less experience.
Beulah Darlene Dexter was laid off in 2015. When she corrected an employee for a manufacturing flaw, she says she was physically pushed. Howard Lesley was forced to retire two years earlier than he planned because he was fed up with the company’s “systemic racism, discrimination and nepotism.”
Roderick Marshall and Jowarn Weston are two employees who were not allowed to attend satellite launch campaigns in favor of less senior and white employees. Angela Tyler, a materials specialist, was laid off instead of being transferred to another division to keep her job, like some white employees who also worked in the same position. Brian Patterson says he was denied a job offer for “trying to unsafely streamline a quality assurance process that could reduce costs and eliminate workers.” White co-workers did not have that used against them.
A spokesperson for Boeing in El Segundo was investigating whether or not the corporation has been sued. She said the company had no immediate comment.
According to Seattlepi.com, Tuesday’s lawsuit is the latest racial discrimination case against the aircraft manufacturer. The first class-action suit was filed in 1998 and was settled for $15 million the next year. However, it was thrown out in 2003 because of expensive attorney fees and differential treatment of class members. It went back to court in 2004, but a judge threw out new claims of pay discrimination.