Human management

Former Waste Management employee sues for racial discrimination

A black former Waste Management employee has said in a federal lawsuit that his Topeka supervisor and co-workers discriminated against him because of his race.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Robert Smith worked for the waste company for 13 years before being laid off last year. Smith’s lawsuit describes a series of incidents, including colleagues calling him obscenities, posting 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 did not discriminate against Smith, and its attorneys defended the decision to fire him.

According to the lawsuit, Smith said someone taped a racist note on his locker during the 2020 presidential election that read, “Give a black man a fish and he’ll 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 for the rest of his life.

Smith said he filed complaints about the memo and other incidents with human resources and his supervisor, but the complaints were not investigated.

Smith said he was fired after he and a colleague decided to continue using a compactor after an accident because they saw no damage to the equipment and did not file a complaint. accident report. But Smith was the only one fired.

The company said in its response that Smith’s co-worker, who is white, reported the accident and that Smith was fired because he tried to cover it up.