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UPS workers were subjected to racist culture that included nooses, Confederate flags in Ohio: lawsuit


Rampant racism ran rampant at a Maumee, Ohio, UPS distribution center, according to an explosive new lawsuit. (SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

UPS workers in Ohio made a special delivery on Wednesday — to the local courthouse to file a lawsuit!

Nineteen employees — both former and current ones — of the international shipping company filed the suit on Wednesday in northern Lucas County.

The explosive complaint asserted the company “enabled, tolerated and purposefully promoted and encouraged a culture of racism and racially discriminatory conduct to take root” at the Maumee packaging distribution center, reported the Toledo Blade.

Among the more eye-popping allegations, starting around 2016, were that nooses once had been hung over an African-American worker’s workstation, a monkey doll had been decked out in UPS garb and Confederate flags were prominently displayed.

In 2016, one white employee — who has since been terminated — allegedly “fashioned two hangman’s nooses” and hung them over the desk belonging to an African-American colleague. Other white employees, including a supervisor, weren’t reprimanded after cracking jokes about the nooses, the suit claims.

In addition to frequent bandying of the N-word, discriminatory behavior “permeated” employment decisions, which resulted in minority workers being “systematically denied jobs opportunities” for minority workers at the Maumee center, according to the lawsuit.

More examples of “racial hostility” include a white delivery driver refusing to enter a predominantly black neighborhood, which she referred to in a derisive term, and a second white employee telling co-workers he was “late for a Klan meeting.”

“African-American employees come to work each day not knowing whether a racist comment or conduct will confront them, being concerned that smirking or laughing white employees are ridiculing them because of their race, and walking on eggshells to avoid triggering a problem,” the suit reads.

The claim names UPS and five local managers and supervisors as defendants. It’s also seeking a court order to halt further discrimination and compensation exceeding $25,000 as well as punitive damages to “deter future unlawful conduct.”