Lockheed Martin Sued For Racial Discrimination

August 3, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing Lockheed Martin Corp., the Pentagon's largest contractor, for ignoring a black employee's complaints of racial harassment and for retaliation against him.

The Washington Post reports that the EEOC and the employee’s attorney claim Charles Daniels was subjected to racist jokes, slurs, and threats by white co-workers and a Latino supervisor for almost a year. Daniels was told the country would be better off if the south had won the Civil War, and co-workers talked about lynching and slavery.

According to the EEOC, Daniels complained to a supervisor about harassment while working on a project in Washington state. The supervisor did nothing. In 2001, while working with the same team of co-workers in Hawaii, Daniels again complained to a supervisor who threatened to fire him. Daniels said he was laid off later in 2001 after refusing to join the same team on another project, according to the Post.

In a written statement, Lockheed Martin spokesman Craig Quigley said, “Lockheed Martin has strong programs and policies in place to prevent all forms of discrimination.”

The company has already faced a discrimination suit filed by the EEOC for permitting a racially hostile work environment to grow in intensity after a white worker shot 14 employees, 12 of whom were black, at the company’s Meridian, Mississippi plant. The case is in appeals court now (See Mississippi Workplace Shooting Case Heads to Appeals Court ).

Daniels’ lawyer said the Mississippi case could help the outcome of the current suit.