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Amazon Sued Over Race and Gender Discrimination

March 11th, 2021

A senior manager at Amazon Web Services is suing her employer in federal court, claiming the tech giant has committed systemic racial and gender discrimination towards employees. She has also accused co-workers of racist comments, sexual harassment, and assault.

Initially hired by Amazon for a public policy role, the employee claims she was qualified for a higher-level position but came onboard in a different role. The complaint says this practice, known as deleveling, is common treatment of black employees at Amazon. It took three years for the company to elevate her to the supposed original role, despite having done the work for that senior role while in the lower position.

The employee claims the company has a history of paying black employees less than white colleagues in the same or similar roles. The suit also accused her supervisor of making racially-tinged comments during evaluations and a senior employee of unwanted sexual advances. The alleged assaulter has been terminated by Amazon following an investigation. The woman has not chosen to resign and wants to keep working for Amazon.

Amazon has come under increased scrutiny over the past few months for their treatment of employees of color. A report last month found that the company has given black employees harsher evaluations and less promotions than their non-black colleagues. Amazon is also embroiled in a unionization battle with employees at a warehouse in Alabama, where 85 percent are black employees. Other workers of color at a Minnesota location protested conditions on Prime Day, one of the company’s most prominent sales days.

The company also drew criticism last year for firing a black worker in Staten Island who raised safety concerns during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic and two employees at the Seattle headquarters for raising concerns over the company’s climate policy. Amazon has stated that the workers fired last year violated unspecified company policies.

Facing discriminatory behavior at work can not only hurt an employee’s performance, but it can also affect their personal life and self-worth. Racial and gender discrimination should not exist in the modern workplace, yet companies still allow it to happen. A race discrimination lawyer can defend the rights of those facing discriminatory treatment due to their race. Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. has fought for employees experiencing race discrimination in the workplace, including the multimillion-dollar settlement with Abercrombie & Fitch over their hiring practices.

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