Earlier this summer, a Boeing employee won a racial harassment and discrimination lawsuit against his employer. One day last year, Roderick Marshall, who is black, was sitting at a workroom table in the Boeing facility where he worked. Opposite him sat a white worker who was fiddling with rope. He tossed the rope to Mr. Marshall who caught it and realized it was a noose.
The jury found Boeing guilty of fostering a hostile work environment, failing to prevent harassment, and being negligent in its hiring, supervision, and retention of employees. Boeing was ordered to pay Mr. Marshall $350,000 in damages.
Boeing responded that it “is disappointed with the verdict in this lawsuit, and firmly believes that the company acted appropriately at all times. Treating others with respect and refraining from any type of harassment is central to our team values and aspirations as a company.”
Five more lawsuits are on the way against Boeing. Each alleges varying degrees of systemic racism in the workplace, and conditions range from a supervisor telling a black employee that he would “hang ‘em high” to favoring less qualified white applicants for promotions repeatedly.