Monday, February 6, 2017 marked the filing of yet another lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections in recent months. This most recent one, filed by a female probation officer, alleges racial discrimination at the hands of both her supervisor and another unnamed party because she is black.
In her lawsuit, the alleged victim said she understood just how stressful taking a job as a probation officer would be and how that would adversely impact her familiar relationships. What she didn’t anticipate, though, was the harassment she’d have to endure at her supervisor’s hands.
Her filing chronicles numerous instances in which she found herself victimized by racially charged questions and comments. She alleges they began with the start of her employment and have continued since. The aggregate total of all the remarks had an adverse effect on her health.
In one instance, she recalls her supervisor going from desk to desk within her 200-employee office, where she happened to be the lone African American. When he came to her desk, he asked her if her preferred topping on pizza was chitterlings.
She also claims her supervisor’s taunting spurred other employees to follow suit. She maintains it wasn’t long before others started referring to her as the “black one” and one morning, even greeted her by saying ‘morning mammy’ as she arrived at work.
The victim said that eight complaints filed with her superiors went unanswered. It’s only in learning that “mammy” was a racial slur that she decided to escalate the matter and take legal action against her employer.
As for racial discrimination lawsuits, this is not the first to be filed against either Genessee County or the MDOC. Instead, its one in a succession of many that have been filed because of either parties’ failure to address underlying problems.
When it comes to what in particular about her poor treatment propelled her to come forward, the victim maintains she’d acted in the interest of herself and others. Her husband, a recently promoted deputy warden with MDOC, also allegedly continues to face discrimination on the basis of his race as well.
If you or someone you know suspects they have been treated inequitably either because of their race or affiliation with any other protected group, a workplace discrimination attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.
Source: Fox2Detroit.com, “Probation officer sues dept of corrections for discrimination,” Dave Spencer, Feb. 06, 2017