Ex-Kaiser Employee Alleges Racism
5-12-2014 22:07:00

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - A former Kaiser employee claims someone hanged a doll in blackface in his work area with a racist note, in a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

     Kendall Thomas seeks $10 million and a jury trial in his lawsuit against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. He claims employment discrimination, retaliation, hate crimes, intentional infliction of emotional distress, general negligence and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
     “Plaintiff contends and alleges that managers and his supervisors (now terminated by Kaiser through their human resources officers in Pasadena, Calif.) were directly responsible for hanging a doll painted in blackface in effigy at the workplace,” Thomas’s complaint states (parentheses in complaint).
     “Plaintiff’s supervisors either engaged in and/or condoned the conduct of hanging a racist, altered doll in effigy in plaintiff’s work area which contained a racial epithet and a racially-charged threat on the doll,” it continues.
     “The doll incident constituted a threat against plaintiff and other African-American employees. The threat was against their person and their property. In fact, the racial epithet on the doll utilized in the doll incident stated ‘Niggers Hang’ and threatened the life of the plaintiff. In addition, plaintiff’s vehicle was vandalized by those employees of defendants acting in a manner consistent with and spawned by the environment created by defendants around the doll incident, the unlawful conduct and the retaliatory conduct,” according to the complaint.
     Thomas says when he complained to his supervisors, he “was shunned, transferred, forced to work nights and targeted for termination as a result of his reporting and complaining of such conduct.” 
     Thomas says Kaiser also violated the ADA by failing to accommodate an unspecified disability and laying him off as a pretext for illegal discrimination.
     Thomas is represented by Michael S. Traylor of Northridge.