The Contra Costa County Public Employees Union Local 1 has had a rough few years, and things have just gotten rougher. The recently ousted general manager has served the union and 11 of its board members with a lawsuit, alleging serious racial discrimination was directed his way during his controversial tenure in the position.
The manager, of Southeast Asian heritage, alleges in the suit that he repeatedly faced racial discrimination at the hands of the union and its board. Instances of the alleged discrimination include being compared to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. While in a heated meeting, some members present reportedly said, “I just don’t trust (Manager). He reminds me of that Kim Jong … guy, you know, the dictator of North Korea?” He goes on to allege that another meeting featured an attendee screaming at him, “You’re sitting there lying to me through those squinty eyes of yours.”
The manager was ultimately let go at a meeting on July 30, 2015, where the situation deteriorated to the point that police officers had to be called in to help maintain peace in the room. The lawsuit alleges that the manager was threatened physically by a board member who suggested that he would be wise to leave before he was “hogtied out of the meeting.”
It would be nice to believe that in this current age, we have moved well beyond the kind of gross, racially based discrimination alleged in this lawsuit. Unfortunately, workers throughout the country are all too well aware that such offenses are still relatively commonplace. Workers who believe that they have been victims of workplace discrimination deserve the qualified representation of an experienced attorney who will fight to ensure that their rights are protected.