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Four Black Workers Met with Nooses, Swastikas, N-Words File Racial Discrimination Against San Francisco Construction Company

A San Francisco construction contractor is facing racial discrimination lawsuits from four Black employees who claim to be victims of racial taunting.

“All I want to do is go to work, do right by my family, and come home safe every day,” Lawrence Haley told KRON 4.

Haley, the fourth worker to come forward against Clark Construction, launched the second racial discrimination lawsuit against the company on Thursday. He worked with Clark as a plumber at a prestigious apartment building and noticed that there would be racial language and swastikas on the walls of the bathrooms. One of the racial messages read “We are going to kill all the nigger.”

Lawrence Haley

Lawrence Haley (left) attends a news conference with attorney John Burris as they discuss their discrimination lawsuit against San Francisco firm Clark Construction. (photo credit: Ashley McBride SF Gate)

The worker said he reported the incident to his employers at the construction site, but they did nothing about it.

“Seeing the swastikas and the N-word to me, it’s a little bit much,” Haley said.

The racial messages were just some of the many other incidents he experienced. He said one time he had bodily waste all over his hands after someone filled up the soap dispenser with feces. When he told his supervisor about the incident, the employer told Haley via text, “We are all grown men. You need to get over this.”

“When I see that soap dish in any bathroom that I go to, it just re-triggers it,” Haley expressed. “I walk right out.”

The three other employees, Craig Ogans, Douglas Russell and Don’ta Laury who worked at  separate Clark Construction site locations filed a right-to-sue complaint against the company in June and a racial discrimination suit on Thursday. The men said they’ve too been endured racial taunting.

Organs and Russell said they found two Black dolls with nooses hanging around their necks in lynching style earlier this year. The message written next to the dolls were, “Kill nigger Craig and kill nigger Dougie,” according to their lawsuit.

Russell said during a press conference on Friday, “I’m going to pray for these guys who feel they can do this and get away with it, but I wish it would stop. … I’m going to therapy. I’m 58 years old, I’ve never seen a psychiatrist or therapist or anything, but I am now because of the death threats.”

Attorney John Burris, who represents all four men, said the harassment his clients have been receiving is systemic.

“You’re talking about eight months at a site they were there, constant activity — constant, daily. There was never a period of time when it wasn’t on the walls. That’s not random. That’s designed to intimidate, to harass, and make you quit,” Burris said.

He continued, “This … raises real questions about another form of terrorism that exists in the country today. … We are dealing with terrorism in an employment situation … all designed to give them the daily impression that you are not wanted here. And you’re not wanted here because you’re African-Americans.”

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