Lawsuit says that California Kraft Heinz plant tolerated racism

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | employment law

Workers in California and across the United States are increasingly attentive to possible wrongdoing in the workplace. This largely emanates from the rise of sexual harassment claims and the growing willingness of workers to speak up when they are confronted with this level of wrongdoing. There are other areas of employment in which workers claim to have been subject to violations. Racism continues to rear its head in many workplaces. Workers have the right to complain when they are confronted by these issues, but that does not mean that the employer is guilty, nor does it mean that the company is not entitled to create a strong defense. This is true regardless of the allegations.

California dairy plant employees claim they were victims of racism

A lawsuit was filed against Kraft Heinz by three Black former employees. They are asking for more than $30 million. According to the filing, the racist acts occurred between 2012 and 2018. Various racial epithets and racially-charged insignias were said to have been used. When the men complained, they were told to ignore it or it was implied that they would be terminated. They assert that personnel decisions were impacted by racism.

They also say they received death threats. One says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the mistreatment. He was fired in September 2019. Another said he suffered from depression and anxiety. He was fired in July 2019. The third man left of his own accord in 2018. According to the company, the last of the issues happened in 2018 and no accusations have been made since. It said there is a zero-tolerance policy in its workplaces.

Avoiding and defending employment law claims requires experienced assistance

Companies might have taken all the necessary steps to address these workplace challenges and adhered to the basics of employment law. When a legal claim is filed, it is vital for the employer to be cognizant of the avenues available to combat the claims and seek a positive outcome. There could be resolutions available such as a settlement. Or the case might not be viable and lodging a defense might be the preferable alternative. Having a comprehensive employee handbook and ensuring it is followed is critical from the start. This might avoid missteps. Before there is a legal case and after one is filed, it is crucial to have comprehensive assistance firmly grounded in the law to be fully prepared for every workplace eventuality.