LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Black former quality control inspector and tester for an El Segundo urban transit engineering company is suing the business, alleging he was wrongfully fired in 2019 for complaining about racially related incidents that included the placement of a noose by a supervisor.
Wayne Clower's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Kinkisharyo International LLC alleges wrongful termination, racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring and retention.
Clower seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Thursday.
A Kinkisharyo International representative could not be immediately reached.
Clower was hired as a quality control inspector and tester in January 2019 and was routinely denied training opportunities provided to non-Black workers, the suit alleges. Three months later, he saw a rope fashioned as a “hanging-man'' noose hanging from a pole, according to the suit.
“Clower immediately became uncomfortable and afraid and reported this to his supervisor, Peter Shapland, who took no action in response,'' the suit states.
Clower later found out the noose was tied by another supervisor, Ailan Cortave, a co-defendant in the suit, the suit states.
Clower reported the noose incident to the company's human resourcesdepartment, but instead of taking action, the company began to reprimand the plaintiff and issued negative written comments about his work, the suit states.
Clower complained that he was not receiving equal training to that given to others who were not Black, but nothing was done, the suit states.
Over the course of several months after his first complaint, Clower was repeatedly referred to by other employees, including Cortave, as “the hanging man,'' which made him feel uncomfortable because some of his ancestors had been lynched, according to the suit.
Rather than take appropriate action, Shapland, another co-defendant, ignored Clower's complaints and instead overly scrutinized the plaintiff, the suit alleges.
Clower submitted a detailed complaint to human resources in September 2019 regarding the alleged disparate treatment and he was fired about two weeks later, according to the suit.
Clower alleges Kinkisharyo retaliated against him for asserting his legal rights by protesting the race and national origin harassment and discrimination to which he was subjected.
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