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Beverly et al vs. B. R. Funsten / Tom Duffy Company et al

29-Oct-2007

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. - Eight African Americans filed a Racial Discrimination and Harassment lawsuit against B.R. FUNSTEN & COMPANY / TOM DUFFY COMPANY in San Francisco Superior Court on September 10, 2007 (Case # CGC-07-467025).

The Complaint states ongoing Racial Discrimination and Harassment by B.R. FUNSTEN & COMPANY/ TOM DUFFY COMPANY and its Managers and Supervisors against the EIGHT PLAINTIFFS. After months of complaints of racial harassment at the workplace, Manager Defendant Buikema on November 7, 2006, had a Hangman’s Noose on his desk When the African American employees would be in the room the Manager would threaten them with “put your head in the noose”.

On November 30th, 2006 the Manager hung the noose up in front of a portrait of his family. The Human Resource Director told the plaintiffs that “it was just a joke” and “he didn’t mean it”. After the reporting of the Hangman’s Noose, a sham investigation took place and the manager and the Director of Human Resources were not disciplined. Since then, four of the plaintiffs have been terminated.

Human Resource Manager Anne Pearson also responded that they should not “blow this out of proportion” and that they should “not have taken offense to the Noose hanging up there.” She also stated to Plaintiff Bryant and Plaintiff Bradford that she saw the Noose the day before in Manager Buikema’s office, and she did nothing about it.

Said Plaintiffs’ attorney, Angela Alioto: “People ask me all the time if this type of racial behavior is really happening in the State of California today. It is so inconceivable that such hatred would be so blatant, but it is and it will not be tolerated anymore. This employer is stunningly arrogant in its belief that this type of racial behavior would go unnoticed. I am sure that the jury will send them a loud and clear message that it simply is not acceptable in America today. These are eight brave men who the Defendant Company never thought would stand up for their rights…well, they are wrong.”