An AT&T executive was fired recently after an employee accused him of keeping and sending racist images on his work phone. The offensive images came into the spotlight when Knoyme King, a 30-year employee at AT&T, filed a lawsuit against Aaron Slator and other company executives, accusing them of years of discrimination on the basis of age and race.
The accusations against Slator represent only part of the lawsuit. In the suit, King names several other AT&T executives, alleging that she was paid unfair wages and overlooked for promotions due to her age and race.
Though the images are troubling, what’s more alarming is the fact that the incident was reported to AT&T more than a year ago, and company executives overlooked it until King filed her suit.
This issue is particularly pertinent in South Carolina, a state that’s been deeply affected by racism in recent weeks. In April, a University of South Carolina student was quickly suspended when an image of her writing a racial slur on a school whiteboard went viral. The school’s quick action represents an encouraging institutional trend to take racism seriously, but there’s still much work to be done to ensure all individuals are treated fairly.
To take further steps in the right direction, here are two lessons for the workplace: First, employees must take racism seriously and realize that discriminatory jokes are not funny. They are horribly offensive and unprofessional. Second, businesses and institutions must be quick to address prejudice and set a standard of zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.
Employment Discrimination Attorney
If you’ve been discriminated against, call now to discuss your options. Call 864-242-4800. Attorney Andy Arnold represents people like you in the greater Greenville area and throughout South Carolina.