Race Discrimination, or Just Workplace Conflict?
An Illinois material handler testified that he’d been treated badly throughout his 4 years of employment. And, he said, it was all because he is African American. But his employer disagreed, saying he deserved the discipline he was given.
What happened. “Lennon” drove a forklift for Jacobson Transportation Co., a third-party logistics firm, at its Chicago Heights warehouse. For the first year of his employment, from 2003 to 2004, he was on the day shift with two supervisors. He later said they made fun of him, but the taunting wasn’t race-based. Then he was put on the night shift as the only black employee on a crew of six. There, he alleged, his boss made more rules for him and scrutinized his performance more closely than that of others. And, he alleged, he was given a less convenient parking spot for his forklift than those of others.