The Washington Post

Illinois Amazon workers allege racism

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Twenty-six workers at an Amazon facility in Joliet, Ill., have filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunit­y Commission alleging a racist workplace environmen­t and retaliatio­n against an employee who spoke up, their lawyer said.

Workers filed the complaints with the EEOC this week and are hoping their claims can be evaluated as a class, according to attorney Tamara Holder, who said complaints from additional workers would be filed soon.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

At a news conference Wednesday, former Amazon employee Tori Davis, who is Black, said she raised concerns about Amazon’s handling of a racist death threat that workers allege was scrawled on a bathroom wall at the warehouse in late May. Davis, 34, said she was fired after telling Amazon she would take legal action if the company did not address her and her co-workers’ concerns.

According to the complaint, Amazon sent a text communicat­ion to workers the night after the graffiti was found, saying law enforcemen­t had investigat­ed the graffiti and “did not identify threats to the site’s safety.”

In a statement, Amazon spokesman Richard Rocha said the company “works hard to protect our employees from any form of discrimina­tion and to provide an environmen­t where employees feel safe.”

“Hate or racism have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated by Amazon,” Rocha said.

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