In this day and age when laws against gender and racial discrimination are firmly in place, it is perplexing to know that many people still experience different forms of discrimination, not just in the community, but also in the workplace. Discrimination can happen to employees of small and large businesses alike, as in the case of a former employee of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, who complained of race discrimination in the workplace.
The African-American employee alleged that Honda promoted some employees and inflicted differentiated levels of punishment to white and African-American employees for inappropriate behavior. The complainant was also offended by racially offensive graffiti in men’s restrooms. Although the company removed the graffiti, no further action was allegedly taken to identify the offenders and apply appropriate sanctions. In addition to oral testimonies, the complainant was also in possession of documents that could serve as evidence for his claims.
But in its official response filed in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, Honda denied these allegations and claimed that it embraces diversity in the workplace. Company officials also said that the complainant was not eligible for damages, since he was seeking compensation for the damages that he suffered because of the purported hostile work environment that did not exist. A pretrial conference is scheduled for April.
Employees who suffer from workplace discrimination have the right to file a discrimination lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Discrimination in Indiana can come in all forms, from age, sex and gender to race, disability and religious discrimination. Just like the employee from Honda, you can also seek punitive and compensatory damages for discrimination you that may have suffered in the workplace.
Source: Greensburg Daily News, “Honda denies discrimination suit allegations,” Boris Ladwig, March 22, 2014