Latasha French has worked at a Verizon’s corporate office in Irving, TX for 17 years. However, her status as one of the senior employees in the building didn’t shield her from racial discrimination, according to a complaint.
French, and several other workers, filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint claiming racial discrimination and retaliation against them for allegations. According to the complaint, managers at the office (all white) have behaved in a discriminatory fashion toward its mostly Black workforce.
The complaint also states that in May and in June this year, a white male manager work a “black afro-style wig” and walked around the call center, in what many believed was an attempt to mock the women of color who work for him. The same manager also allegedly took an electric wheelchair that’s used to accommodate a disabled employee and drove around the call center without permission. He wasn’t disciplined for either of these actions.
“Verizon Wireless executives should be ashamed for its failure to condemn racist acts by management at its call centers and retail stores across the country,” stated Jennifer Womack, a Verizon call center worker who has also spoken out about racial discrimination and retaliation at the Irving, TX offices. “At my call center specifically, instead of punishing those who have acted inappropriately, the company retaliates against the victims of racism. Management also violates our rights when they prevent us from organizing and making our voices heard, through anti-union meetings and surveillance.
But allegations against Verizon aren’t limited to their corporate offices. Employees in retail locations in Columbus, GA and Lancaster, OH have also filed EEOC complaints against the communications giant.
In Columbus, Alberta Sanchez, a floating manager in retail with 10 years’ experience, applied for a position in Arizona that eventually went to a white woman with less experience and educational training. When she asked why she wasn’t chosen, she was allegedly told that she “wasn’t a good fit.” She was then warned to accuse them of racism because “that would be hard on you.” Her position was then eliminated. She has since applied for over 200 positions within the company and has received no callbacks.
In Lancaster, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch and the Lancaster Eagle