Appeals board says woman who disparaged Mexicans can’t claim jobless benefits by citing Trump

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An Iowa appeals board has reversed a judge’s ruling that a woman who disparaged Mexicans can claim unemployment benefits because such rhetoric is “common” after President Trump was elected.

Angela Diers filed for unemployment after said she was fired from her job at Dexter Laundry after she said in front of co-workers that she hated “f—ing Mexicans,” The Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.

Administrative Law Judge Beth Scheetz had originally approved Diers’s request for aid, saying that derogatory comments about “blacks and foreigners” were commonplace at the commercial washer and dryer manufacturing plant where Diers worked.


“Since President Trump’s election, it was common for workers to talk about hating blacks or hating foreigners,” Scheetz wrote in her ruling. “If management wishes all workers to be treated with respect, it must enforce respectful treatment amongst co-workers and supervisors, and apply those expectations consistently throughout the chain of command.”

Diers testified at her unemployment hearing that she was frustrated by a co-worker “dancing and singing Mexican” early in the morning before Cinco de Mayo. Diers acknowledged that she hated “f—ing Mexicans” in front of several coworkers. 

The newspaper reported that Diers later tried to clarify that she meant she only hated “illegal Mexicans.”

“We talk about everything out on the floor — whether it’s the president or the vice president,” Diers testified. “There has been talk on the floor: Some people don’t like blacks, certain people don’t like Mexicans, certain people don’t like foreigners. We talk, and then we just move on.”

Diers reportedly told Scheetz that rhetoric against African-Americans and immigrants intensified since Trump took office.

“There was a lot of controversy out on the floor during the presidential election,” she testified.

Iowa’s Employment Appeals Board, however, ruled that Diers was clearly violating the company’s definition of misconduct and reversed Scheetz’s decision on the woman’s unemployment claim.

“Her clarification that she only meant ‘illegal’ Mexicans does not absolve her of culpability,” the board wrote, according to The Register.

The appeals board denied Dier’s appeal for a rehearing on Monday, a spokesperson from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals told The Hill.

Diers has said she plans to appeal the board’s decision denying her jobless benefits, moving the case to district court, The Register reported. 

Updated: 3:58 p.m.

Tags Cinco de Mayo Donald Trump Hate crimes Hate speech Iowa Iowa President Trump Unemployment
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