Coca-Cola Charged with Racial Discrimination

January 7, 2002 ( - An ex-Coca-Cola Enterprises employee is seeking class-action status for a discrimination suit, charging that he was wrongfully dismissed after he injured his back, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.

The plaintiff, William McAfee, an African-American who last worked at Coca-Cola’s Buckner facility in December 2000, charges that the soft drink giant discriminated against him by denying him light duty assignment and treating him less favorably than similarly situated white employees after he was injured.

McAfee filed his suit within 90 days of receiving a right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after he had filed a complaint with the agency.

McAfee also claims that other black employees were denied opportunities for promotion and advancement and that Coca-Cola runs its Buckner facility in a manner “characterized by racial imbalance,” according to the newspaper.

McAfee also accuses the company of:

  • paying black employees less, 
  • segregating African-American employees from white employees, and 
  • assigning African-American employees to less desirable delivery routes.