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Old 06-23-2019, 06:38 AM
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Default Toledo, OH WF mail carrier files suit, says she was target of negro racial harassment


Mail carrier files suit, says she was target of racial harassment

Jun 21, 2019
10:10 AM

A white South Toledo woman has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against the Postmaster General for ongoing racial harassment she says she received from African-American co-workers while employed at a West Toledo post office.

Deb S. White
, a letter carrier who was employed by the United States Postal Service for more than 24 years, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Thursday against Postmaster General Megan Brennan — the executive officer for the nation’s postal service — for harassment and hostility while she was assigned to work at the Toledo-Reynolds Corners Station, 6020 W. Bancroft St., according to the complaint.

Beginning in July, 2018, Ms. White claims she became a target of bullying from co-workers, who were African-American. The harassment consisted of verbal taunts, raised voices, and staring — which varied in intensity each day — but became a regular occurrence, Ms. White’s attorneys, Catherine Killam and Matthew Bryant, wrote in the complaint.

“[Ms. White] reasonably found the work environment frightening, so frightening that it affected her ability to perform her duties, as well as her general feelings of well being,” the complaint stated.

Ms. White addressed the matter with the post office’s management, though there was no action taken to remedy the situation, her attorneys said. Ms. White later filed an informal complaint with an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor. While mediation of the informal complaint resulted in an agreed-upon remedy, another situation arose in September.

On Sept. 28, an African-American clerk took issue with Ms. White’s placement of her equipment — though her attorneys noted it was no different than how her other African-American co-workers placed their equipment. The attorneys claim the clerk began yelling at Ms. White and verbally attacking her on personal matters, which prevented or delayed her attempt to complete her work.

Ms. White reported the perceived racially motivated mistreatment to a manager, but he advised her “it was ignorant to accuse African-Americans of racism,” the complaint stated.

In October, the manager suspended Ms. White until she completed a fitness-for-duty examination, and a medical doctor determined she was fit to return to work, according to court documents.

Ms. White did not return to work until Dec. 15, and since then, harassment by her African-American co-workers has increased, and she continues to work there, Mr. Bryant told The Blade.

“Retaliation is prohibited conduct under the law,” Mr. Bryant said. “Elimination of retaliation by an employer is vital to protecting Title VII’s remedial purpose. After over 20 years of unblemished employment, only after complaining of racism against her, Ms. White was repeatedly retaliated against — retaliation that continues to this day.”

She also filed a formal complaint, and as of March 23, she received a notice of a final action and of her right to sue within 90 days.

Her attorneys claim Ms. White has lost pay and suffered emotional distress following the incidents. They ask for back pay and compensatory damages as the court sees fit.
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