A Black former Waste Management employee said in a federal lawsuit that his supervisor and coworkers in Topeka discriminated against him because of his race.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Robert Smith’s lawsuit describes a series of incidents including coworkers calling him obscenities, playing racist videos when he was around, and addressing him in a mocking manner.
Waste Management said in a response to the lawsuit that the company didn’t discriminate against Smith, and its lawyers defended the decision to fire him.
According the lawsuit, Smith said someone taped a racist note to his locker during the 2020 presidential election that said: “Give a black man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give a black man a free cell phone, food stamps, section 8 housing, a six pack of beer and he’ll vote Democrat the rest of his life.”
Smith said he was fired after he and a coworker decided to continue using a compacter after there was an accident because they didn’t see any damage to the equipment, and they didn’t file a report about the accident.
Smith was the only one fired.
The company said that Smith’s coworker did report the accident, and Smith was fired because he tried to conceal it.