A resident of the South Side of Chicago, IL is putting her Atlanta-based employer on blast.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Adrienne Harmon-Beckwith filed a complaint against chemical goods company Zep after a vice president allegedly used a racial slur on a Zoom call with other employees in November 2021. Harmon-Beckwith was also the only Black employee on the call.
“He must have said it at least another four, five times. I was floored. It was a professional setting. Who does that,” Harmon-Beckwith said, according to Chicago Sun-Times.
Not The First Questionable Move By The Company
According to a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Harmon-Beckwith states managers failed to react when the incident was documented. After recognizing Beckwith’s persistence toward the issue, one company executive proposed a severance stating she “can’t get over it,” the complaint read.
“They didn’t take it seriously. They tried to shame me for speaking up,” said Beckwith, according to Chicago Sun-Times.
Harmon-Beckwith Hopes Company Learns From The Situation
Harmon-Beckwith alongside her attorney Tamara Holder revealed the company defended the vice presidents, claiming the slur was never said and no additional complaints were brought forward by other employees. The company later sent a “serious disciplinary notice” to the vice president, Chicago Sun-Times reports.
By filing the complaint, Harmon-Beckwith hopes the company will learn from the discriminatory incident to set the standard for what should not be tolerated in the workplace.