UPS sued by 19 workers claiming the company didn't stop racial harassment

Nineteen UPS workers at an Ohio distribution facility allege in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that they experienced racial discrimination and racist language from white coworkers on the job, while managers and supervisors did nothing to stop the harassment.

CNN reported Wednesday that lawyers representing the workers allege that white workers at a Maumee, Ohio, UPS facility joked about "nooses" and Klan meetings in text messages and in front of black coworkers, and went undisciplined by managers.


"Can we buy another noose with the winnings," one worker allegedly wrote in a text message chain about lottery tickets.

In September 2016, another employee allegedly joked about being late for a "Klan meeting" in a conversation with two coworkers, one of whom was black, according to the lawsuit.

Black employees represented in the suit also alleged that they were denied opportunities and pay increases based on their race.

"African-American employees are disproportionately employed by UPS in lower paying, strenuous, menial, part-time, or seasonal positions and systematically denied opportunities for higher paying, full-time, and supervisory positions," the lawsuit reads, according to CNN.

The lawsuit goes on to refer to UPS's anti-discrimination policies as "empty promises."

"African-American employees come to work each day not knowing whether a racist comment or conduct will confront them, being concerned that smirking or laughing white employees are ridiculing them because of their race, and walking on eggshells to avoid triggering a problem," the complaint reads, according to CNN.

A spokesperson for UPS told CNN that it takes matters of racial discrimination seriously, while noting that the company would not comment on lawsuits.

"UPS has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or prejudice," the company's director of corporate media relations, Glenn Zaccara, told CNN. "The company has strict policies against harassment and discrimination. We will not comment further on pending matters."