Lawsuit accuses Amazon of ‘systemic’ racism in corporate offices

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A supervisor at Amazon.com Inc sued the net retailer for discrimination on Monday, saying it hires Black folks for decrease positions and promotes them extra slowly than white staff, and that she was subjected to harassment.

The lawsuit from Charlotte Newman, a enterprise improvement head at Amazon Web Services who’s Black, mentioned the corporate suffers from a “systemic pattern of insurmountable discrimination,” regardless of its pledge to combat racism and statements of solidarity from Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

Seattle-based Amazon mentioned it was investigating the claims. It mentioned it strives for an equitable tradition and has no tolerance for discrimination: “These allegations do not reflect those efforts or our values.”

The criticism was filed in Washington, D.C., federal court docket.

Newman, a Harvard Business School graduate and former adviser to U.S. Senator Cory Booker, mentioned Amazon delayed by 2-1/2 years her rise to senior supervisor by hiring her in 2017 for a extra junior function for which she was overqualified, a “de-leveling” that reduces awards of firm inventory.

She additionally accused a male supervisor of utilizing racial tropes by calling her “aggressive,” “too direct” and “just scary,” and one other male co-worker of sexually harassing her and as soon as pulling on her braids whereas saying, “You can leave this behind.”

Both males had been additionally named as defendants, and in keeping with the lawsuit the supervisor was required to bear coaching whereas the co-worker was terminated. The co-worker’s lawyer couldn’t instantly be recognized.

Newman is looking for compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Douglas Wigdor, who additionally represented girls suing the previous film producer Harvey Weinstein and Fox News over alleged harassment or discrimination.

Amazon has labored to indicate assist for the Black Lives Matter motion. In September its cloud computing chief Andy Jassy, who will succeed Bezos as Amazon CEO, gave the keynote tackle at a Black Employee Network entrepreneurship convention.

The information website Recode final week reported allegations of racial disparities in Amazon promotions and efficiency evaluations.

Amazon additionally faces lawsuits claiming it mistreated staff in its dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic at its services.


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