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Amazon sued for racial discrimination

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

4 Mar 2021


Amazon Inc is facing a lawsuit in the U.S. for its “systemic pattern of insurmountable discrimination.”

According to Reuters, a manager working at Amazon.com is sueing the online behemoth, citing the company hires Black people for lower positions and promotes them more slowly than white workers, and that she was subjected to harassment.

Profits before people

In a complaint filed in the federal court in Washington, Charlotte Newman, a business development head at Amazon Web Services who is Black, said Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos consider themselves to be “among the foremost, most innovative companies and business leaders in the U.S. and the world.” Newman further cites the company is “Driven by profits and greed,” and that “Amazon and Mr. Bezos are not ’employee-obsessed’ in the same way.”

Seattle-based Amazon said it was investigating the claims. It said it strives for an equitable culture and has no tolerance for discrimination: “These allegations do not reflect those efforts or our values.”

Newman said Amazon delayed promoting her by two and a half years by hiring her in 2017 for a more junior role for which she was overqualified, a “de-leveling” that reduces awards of company stock.

She also accused a male supervisor of using racial tropes by calling her “aggressive,” “too direct” and “just scary,” and another male co-worker of sexually harassing her and once pulling on her braids while saying, “You can leave this behind.”

Both men were also named as defendants, said Reuters, and according to the lawsuit the supervisor was required to undergo training while the co-worker was terminated.

In the filing Newman says: “a lack of diversity in an organization’s highest ranks and upper management has a direct impact on diversity in promotions, as the senior executives and managers are the ones who make recommendations for promotions and compensation decisions.”

A spokesman for Amazon told The Fashion Law: “We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind and thoroughly investigate all claims and take appropriate action. We are currently investigating the new allegations included in this lawsuit.”

Article source: Reuters, The Fashion Law

Image: Amazon