Suit Claims Workplace Had Whites-Only Bathroom
Black workers at a Philadelpia waste transfer plant say they were relegated to a bathroom down five flights of stairs while white workers got to use a cleaner facility one floor above the supervisor’s office, one with a lock on it to preserve it for white workers.
“If you tried to use the bathroom, you might get suspended,” said Leslie Young, a former worker at the facility. Young, along with Gibson Trowery, who still works at the station, filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in October 2007.
Young said he recalled that a lock was placed on the restroom door, with keys distributed only to white workers.
Northwest Transfer Station superintendent John Gill is being accused of a series of actions leading to a hostile work environment for black workers.
The issue didn’t end with the bathroom at the facility, which is a transfer station where garbage trucks bring citywide waste to be distributed to various landfills.
Black employees complained that they were stuck with the oldest garbage trucks. Whites, they say, were frequently upgraded to newer vehicles.
“Gill would hide the white drivers’ keys and pretend that he didn’t know where they were,” Trowery said. “But I saw him keep the keys in his drawer.”
According to Young, in the sweltering summer of 2007, Gill would only allow whites access to a water cooler kept in his barricaded office. Black employees were forced to use a water fountain elsewhere in the building.
Gill told CNN, “If you want to write a fair story, wait for after the trial to finish writing it.”Click here for reuse options!
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