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AT&T employee points to racist photo in discrimination lawsuit

It is important that the law remain vigilant against workplace discrimination, because there are still managers and executives who harbor prejudices, unfortunately. Even in the country’s largest, most high-profile corporations, some people in powerful positions are using their influence to harm the careers of others, due to their ethnicity, age or other illegal reason.

For example, a longtime employee of telecommunications giant AT&T has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against several company executives, including the CEO. One of the defendants, who appears to be the focus of the suit, was fired shortly after the employee filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court.

According to the suit, the fired executive “harbors obvious and deep-seated racial animus toward African Americans” that affected his decision-making regarding hiring, firing and promoting workers, and in granting raises. The plaintiff, an African American woman, spent 30 years at AT&T, and believes the defendant turned her down for promotions and raises because of her race.

Among the evidence of the fired executive’s alleged racism is a picture discovered on his work cellphone. When an assistant was transferring data from an old phone to a new one, he or she found an image of an African child dancing. The caption read, “It’s Friday N_____s.”

Besides accusing the executive of possessing the racist image, the lawsuit says he enjoyed it enough to send to someone else at least once. He allegedly sent it to a third party via text message, describing the photo as “an oldie but a goodie.”

An article by the New York Daily News does not mention what the plaintiff is seeking in damages.